Oklahoma City Wins Back-to-Back National Championships
By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
LINCOLN, Neb. — (Team Results | Individual Results) For just the second time in NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships history, the team title was decided by a one-hole playoff, with Oklahoma City emerging victorious. The Stars became the first team to win back-to-back titles since 2009, when they concluded a streak of five-straight national championships. The team title is the seventh all-time for Oklahoma City (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014) in the 20-year history of the event.
Heading into the final hole, top-ranked SCAD Savannah (Ga.) held a five-shot lead on defending national champion Oklahoma City. A short par five that had produced numerous birdies throughout the week, No. 18 proved to be the perfect hole for the Stars to make up ground. The scoring trio of Anna Mikish, Kailey Campbell and Caroline Goodin played the hole two-under par for Oklahoma City, while SCAD Savannah’s golfers shot 1-over par.
So, as the final pairing—featuring the NAIA’s No. 1 golfer based on scoring average (73.64), Alazne Urizar of SCAD Savannah, and the defending national runner-up, Elia Folch of Oklahoma City—walked to the tee box at No. 18, the Bees continued to hold a two-stroke lead.
After long drives by both Folch and Urizar, each attempted to reach the green in two. Folch succeeded, knocking her second shot within 10 feet of the pin to set up a makeable eagle putt. Urizar fell just short of the green, but left herself a chance to get up-and-down for birdie.
Urizar opened the door for Folch when her chip fell well short of the hole and her long birdie putt stayed up. The Oklahoma City senior sank her eagle putt to force a team playoff after Urizar tapped in for par.
In the one-hole playoff, all five Oklahoma City golfers put their drives into the fairway and three hit the green in two to set up birdie putts. The Stars carded three pars and a birdie to best the Bees, who had two bogeys, a par and a birdie in the playoff at hole No. 1.
Bellevue (Neb.) (1224, 314-314-299-297), William Woods (Mo.) (1234, 307-317-311-299) and Cumberlands (Ky.) (1237, 310-308-306-318) round out the top five. The Bruins concluded their week with two of the national championships’ five sub-300 rounds to move from sixth to third over the final 36 holes.
Four of the national championships’ sub-300 rounds were shot in Friday’s final round by Oklahoma City (295), SCAD Savannah (295), Bellevue (297) and William Woods (299).
SCAD Savannah’s Urizar was the individual medalist after shooting a national championships-record 291 over 72 holes (76, 71, 73, 71). She was the only competitor to card multiple under-par rounds at the national championships, ultimately finishing three-over par.
Oklahoma City’s Folch was the national runner-up for the second-straight year with a four-over par 72-hole total of 292 (72, 75, 73, 72). Sofia Molinaro of SCAD Savannah shot a 2014 national championships-low two-under par 70 in Friday’s final round to finish third (294, 74-75-75-70) at six-over par.
Myriam Hassan of William Woods placed fourth (+12), while Daniela Martinez of Northwood (Texas) and Renee Santoyo of Bellevue tied for fifth place (+13).
This year’s national championships concluded with an awards ceremony that included the announcement of Oklahoma City’s Marty McCauley as the 2014 NAIA Women’s Golf Coach of the Year and the all-tournament team. The all-tournament consists of the top 15 individual finishers, including ties.
2014 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships All-Tournament Team
Alazne Urizar, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)
Elia Folch, Oklahoma City
Sofia Molinaro, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)
Myriam Hassan, William Woods (Mo.)
Daniela Martinez, Northwood (Texas)
Renee Santoyo, Bellevue (Neb.)
Sunny Powers, Concordia (Ore.)
Sarah Gillard, Coastal Georgia
Caroline Goodin, Oklahoma City
Christian Liggin, Coastal Georgia
Geandra Almeida, Bethel (Ind.)
Brynn Tomie, Victoria (B.C.)
Winnie Hyun, British Columbia
Jodie Peacock, William Woods (Mo.)
Kailey Campbell, Oklahoma City
Kyla Clancy, Rocky Moutain (Mont.)
Candice Lindeque, Cumberlands (Ky.)
Wiebke Schlender, Indiana Tech