SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Colby Shrum slid in a tricky three-foot par putt on the final hole to capture the individual championship and Central Oklahoma used an early surge to take control en route to claiming the team title at the Lone Star Conference Men’s Golf Championships here Wednesday.
The No. 4-ranked Bronchos won their first LSC title since 2003 – and the fourth overall – in their final appearance in the tournament, shooting a closing nine-under-par 279 at the par-72 Randolph Oakes Golf Club to finish the three-day, 54-hole meet with a five-under 859 total.
UCO, which entered the day with a two-stroke lead over Abilene Christian, ended up nine shots clear of Cameron’s 868. ACU ended up third in the 11-team field at 870, followed by Northeastern State (890), Texas A&M-Commerce (891) and West Texas A&M (891).
It was the final LSC appearance for the Bronchos, who are leaving the conference after this year to compete as NCAA Division II independents in 2011-12 before joining the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in 2012-13.
Shrum’s four-under 68 led the way in the final round as he won his second LSC crown with a nine-under 207 total, coaxing in a downhill three-footer on No. 18 to finish one shot ahead of WTAMU’s Ben Hargis and NSU’s Casey Nelson.
The Bronchos also got three-under 69s from Josh Creel and Andrew Green, while Baer Aneshansley shot 73 and Chris Muriana 77.
“This ranks up there with one of the best performances we’ve ever had,” said UCO coach Dax Johnston, whose team won its eighth tournament in 11 tries this year. “I believe in these guys and I challenged them last night, told them we had a job to do and it’s something we’ve talked about for the last eight months.
“This team believes. They believe we’re going to win conference, they believe we’re going to win regionals and they believe we’re going to win nationals. I’ve never seen a group of guys come together like this team. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Shrum got out of the gate quick in the final round with a birdie-eagle-par-birdie start to get to four-under. Back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 dropped the Perry senior to two-under before a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 9 gave him a front-nine 33.
Shrum opened the back nine with four consecutive pars to stay tied for the individual lead, making a great par save on No. 13 with a flop shot from the rough to three feet. He took the lead on the par-4 14th with an 18-foot birdie and then finished with four consecutive pars, barely missing birdie tries on Nos. 15 and 17 while making a five-foot par save on No. 18.
Shrum, a two-time All-American, ripped a long drive on the par-4 finishing hole and hit a sand wedge 20 feet past the hole before leaving that downhill effort three feet short. But Shrum got the par putt to fall in the right side of the hole to complete the win.
“In the past I’ve had trouble with three footers and I was testing myself,” Shrum said jokingly of his winning putt on the final hole. “I started off real good with a birdie and eagle and made a good par save on three with about a 10 foot putt. I made a birdie late and kind of cruised in.”
Green tied for fifth in the individual standings at one-under 215 after his finishing 69. The Edmond junior had birdies on Nos. 5 and 9 to go with seven pars in making the turn at two-under 34 and got to three under with a birdie on the par-3 11th hole.
A penalty stroke led to a bogey on the par-4 13th, but Green got that back with a birdie on No. 17 before ending with a routine par for his 69.
Creel started quickly with a birdie on the par-4 first hole and was two-under after another birdie at the par-5 fifth. He gave a stroke back on No. 8 in making the turn, but rebounded quickly with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11.
That got Creel to three-under and the Cheyenne, Wyo. Sophomore ended his round with seven consecutive pars to finish in a tie for seventh at even-par 216.
Aneshansley made the turn at two-over 38 before closing with a 35, getting a birdie on the par-5 12th to go with eight pars.