SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – It didn’t take long for Central Oklahoma to renew its status as a legitimate NCAA Division II national championship contender.
On Tuesday, the No. 7-ranked Bronchos rallied for a victory in the season-opening Coyote Classic.
UCO, which captured four of five tournaments during the fall campaign, overcame a four-stroke deficit in the final round Tuesday to trim top-rated Chico State by two shots in the two-day, 54-hole tournament. The Bronchos had a closing one-under-par 279 to finish three trips around the par-70 Arrowhead Country Club with a four-over 844 total.
Chico State was second in the 17-team tournament at 846, followed by No. 8 Sonoma State (857), Cal State-Stanislus (858) and Redlands (869).
“That was a big-time win for our program,” said UCO coach Dax Johnston, who has led the Bronchos to 42 team titles in his 10th year at the helm. “To come out here for our first tournament after having not had a lot of quality practice time and beat the number one team in the nation is huge for us.
“I’m just really proud of the way our guys competed. They weren’t intimidated and they didn’t back down. Now we have to keep working hard and build on this momentum.”
UCO dominated with its length in the tournament, finishing 21-under-par on the par-5s.
A second six-under par 64 in two days vaulted Chico State’s Eric Frazzetta to the individual title, posting a three-round total of 9-under par 64-73-64–201.
Central Oklahoma had four top-20 finishers, topped by Colby Shrum’s fifth-place showing. Shrum, a two-time All-American, had a final-round 69 to finish at one-under 209 for the tournament.
Andrew Green tied for 10th at 213, opening with back-to-back 69s before finishing with a 75. Josh Creel was steady with rounds of 73-72-69 for a 214 total that left him 14th and Dillon Rust sandwiched a middle-round 81 with two-under 68s in tying for 19th at 217. Baer Aneshansley shot 79-74-73 in finishing 226.
UCO also had two individuals compete as medalists, with Matt Charlson shooting 72-72-78 and Logan Waresback 80-79-73.
|Pos.||Team||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Total|
|10||Western New Mexico||304||301||294||899|
|T11||UC San Diego||298||307||295||900|
|15||Academy of Art||311||304||305||920|
|16||Notre Dame de Namur||310||309||311||930|