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Oklahoma Christian Enters Final Day with Three-Stroke Lead

May 25, 2012
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By Mark Colachico, NAIA Men's Golf National Championships Media Coordinator 

Video Recap | Complete Results

SALEM, Ore. – Defending national champions and No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Christian maintained the clubhouse lead heading into the final round of the 61st annual NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships presented by FORE! Salem at Creekside Golf Club.

The Eagles posted a third-round score of 4-over 292, but hold a three-stroke lead over Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) and a four-stroke advantage over No. 1-ranked Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Christian (297-288-292=877) is 13-over par as a team, while Our Lady of the Lake (307-284-289=880) and Oklahoma City (297-298-286=881) are part of the four-team dog-fight at the top of the leader board that includes Johnson & Wales (Fla.) at 18-over 882 (298-294-290) with one round remaining.

“We could have gone out today and put the tournament away or given ourselves a really good chance, and we didn’t do that,” said David Lynn, Oklahoma Christian head coach. “But I’ll tell you what – if you had told me at the beginning of the week that we were either going to be in the lead by three shots or behind by three shots, I would have taken it.”

Oklahoma Christian leads a field of 17 teams that will via for this year’s title in tomorrow’s fourth and final round, as the Eagles will be hunting for the third championship in program history.

“We fight for the opportunity to have a chance on the last day and that looks like it’s going to be the case, so we’re really excited,” said Lynn. “I’m just proud of the way the guys finished today. They finished like champs.”

Individually, Johnson & Wales’ Brandon Meltzer continued to hold his lead after firing a third round score of 1-under 71 to bring his tournament total to 7-under 209 (73-65-71). Two other players – Oklahoma Christian’s Vilhelm Bogstand and Texas Wesleyan’s Nathan Anderson – are also under par for the tournament, as Bogstrand sits in second place with a combined 54-hole score of 4-under 212 (71-71-70) and Anderson is at 3-under 213 (70-74-69).

Rounding out the top five individuals are Our Lady of the Lake’s Aaron Flores (76-71-68=215), William Woods’ (Mo.) Julian Taylor (76-73-68=217), Victoria’s (B.C.) Carson Kallis (74-71-72=217), and Cumberlands’ (Ky.) Alastair Tidcombe (75-70-72=217).

Along with the 17 teams that advanced to tomorrow’s final round, eight individuals also made the cut and will be vying for the right to take home the O.D. Bounds Individual Medalist trophy. The fourth and final round will be played Friday beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Hole No. 1 and 7:40 a.m. on Hole No. 10. The leading groups will begin their rounds at 9:20 a.m. on the front nine with the final group scheduled to finish at approximately 2:45 p.m.

“It will be one day for a national championship,” said Lynn. “It’s hard to think of it that way, but it really is. We’re going to go out and enjoy it. I will be happy with whatever happens, especially if we continue to grind and try like we have been. It’s been fun to watch.”