SALEM, Ore. – (Individual Results | Team Results) Oklahoma City claimed its second-straight national title Friday with a win at the 62nd annual NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships presented by FORE! Salem at Creekside Golf Club.
The Stars, who never trailed during the event, registered a team score of 291 en route to posting a tournament-low 4-under, 1,148 (280-288-289-291). Oklahoma City, the first team to repeat as national champions since accomplishing the same feat in 2006 and 2007, now owns nine men’s golf championship banners in the last 13 years, which leads all NAIA institutions.
“The guys really fought hard this week,” said Oklahoma City head coach Kyle Blaser. “It’s awesome to have the guys step up. We stress peaking at the right time – sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. I think on the ninth hole I saw a few teams struggling a bit and I believed we had it locked up.”
In addition to winning the team prize, Oklahoma City’s Sondre Ronold took home the O.D. Bounds National Medalist Trophy with a 5-under par finish. Ronold (69-69-74-71—283), who led from the second round on, fought off Our Lady of the Lake’s (Texas) Aaron Flores (72-71-69-73—285) and Adam Loran (70-69-74-72—285) of Cal State San Marcos with a final round 71 en route to the trophy. The senior from Stavanger, Norway overcame back-to-back bogeys on the ninth and tenth with birdies on No. 12, 13 and 16. He sealed the victory with a par on No. 18. Ronold is the fourth all-time individual medalist for Oklahoma City and the first since Dan Mitchell won the award in 2007.
“It feels good, but I think the team championship feels extra good,” said Ronold. “My round today started off a little sketchy, but I managed to score decently and it picked up on the back nine. It’s only sweet feelings right now.”
In addition to Ronold, the Stars had three other individuals finish in the top ten with Michael Palmer (71-72-73-70—286) taking fourth, Anthony Marchesani (68-72-73-76—289) sixth and James Marchesani (72-75-69-74—290) tied for seventh.
Texas Wesleyan finished second in the team standings with a combined score of 24-over par, 1,176 (297-297-279-303). Cal State San Marcos held strong to take third with a team score of 29-over, 1,181 (299-288-292-302), while Grand View (Iowa) and Bellevue (Neb.) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The Vikings shot 300 for the second-straight day to finish with a score of 1,182, while Bellevue tied Oklahoma City for the fourth round’s lowest team score at 291 to climb four spots and register a 72-hole score of 1,184.
This year’s championships concluded with an awards ceremony that included the announcement of Blaser as the NAIA Coach of the Year and the all-tournament team, which includes the top 15 individuals. For Blaser, the award is the eighth national coach of the year award of his career.
2013 All-Tournament Team
Sondre Ronold, Oklahoma City
Aaron Flores, Our Lady of the Lake
Adam Loran, Cal State San Marcos
Michael Palmer, Oklahoma City
Davis Garner, Bellevue (Neb.)
Anthony Marchesani, Oklahoma City
Dylan Anthony, Texas Wesleyan
James Marchesani, Oklahoma City
Jose Mario Vega, Bellevue (Neb.)
Trevor Banks, Virginia Intermont
Zach Cabra, St. Thomas (Texas)
Matthew Latham, St. Andrews (N.C.)
Nathan Anderson, Texas Wesleyan
Tyler Christians, Grand View (Iowa)
Julian Taylor, William Woods (Mo.)