Thursday, May 19, 2011

UCO falls in men's golf national tournament

FLORENCE, Ala. (May 19) – Top-ranked Central Oklahoma dropped a trio of close matches and fell to Central Missouri in quarterfinal action at the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships here Thursday.

The Bronchos, seeded fourth in the eight-team match play portion of the tournament that will determine the national champion, lost a 3-2 decision to the fifth-seeded Mules. UCM moved on face No. 2 Lynn in an afternoon semifinal, with Abilene Christian and Cal State-Monterey Bay to play in the other semi.

The two semifinal winners meet Friday morning for the national championship.

Baer Aneshansley romped to an eight-stroke victory and Josh Creel cruised to a four-shot win, but Andrew Green, Dillon Rust and Chris Muriana all lost their stroke-play matches. Rust fell just a shot short, while Green lost by two and Muriana by three.

The loss ended a brilliant season by the Bronchos, one that saw the team capture eight tournament titles, including the Lone Star Conference and South Central Regional crowns.

Aneshansley dominated the par-72 Robert Trent Jones at the Shoals Fighting Joe Course for the second straight day, making eight birdies in shooting a career-best 66 to rout UCM’s Matt Miller by eight strokes. Aneshansley, who had a 67 Wednesday in the final round of stroke play, birdied 14 of 36 holes the last two days.

Creel had a 74 in downing Laurence Noott by four shots, going out in even-par 36 to take a two-stroke lead. Both golfers double bogeyed the par 5 10th hole and then Creel reeled off eight straight pars to pull away.

Rush birdied his ninth hole for an opening one-under 35 in taking a three-shot lead over Ryne Kloeppel, but a three-shot swing on No. 11 tied the match and Kloppel went ahead on No. 15. Both golfers birdied two of the last three holes to leave Kloeppel with a 71-72 victory.

Muriana trailed Jared King by three shots after the front nine before coming back to cut that deficit to one entering the final hole, but King sewed up the win on the 190-yard par-3 with a birdie while Muriana made double bogey.

Green was UCO’s last golfer on the course in the deciding match and he trailed Zack Van Dolah by three shots early before coming back to tie it on No. 11. Van Dolah took a two-stroke lead on the 13th hole and maintained that advantage for the 70-72 decision that broke the team tie.

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