Eagles, Bogstrand in control at NCCAA Championship
By Murray Evans
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2012) – On a day that The Hombre Golf Club was playing tough, Oklahoma Christian made it look easy and all but ran away with the NCCAA Championship.
With all five players in the top eight – including individual leader Vilhelm Bogstrand – the Eagles posted their second consecutive round of 8-under-par 280 on Tuesday. OC will take a commanding 33-shot lead over second-place Union (Tenn.) into the final round on Wednesday.
OC coach David Lynn didn’t want to celebrate too early, but he acknowledged the Eagles are in good shape to win a third national title to add to NAIA crowns won by OC in 2009 and 2011.
“On this golf course, you still have to mind your Ps and Qs,” Lynn said. “You’ve seen that. You’ve seen a lot of train wrecks out there. We played well today. We stuck to our guns. We played conservatively, but we made good choices and we played aggressively from there.”
OC is the only team to have shot under-par rounds on the par-72, 6,517-yard layout on The Hombre’s Bad and Ugly courses, and the Eagles have done so twice. Bogstrand is a big reason why. The senior from Oslo, who fired a 66 on Monday, followed up with a 72 that included birdies on his final three holes.
“That just goes to show you about Vilhelm,” Lynn said. “He’s 3-over with three to play and he finishes birdie-birdie-birdie. That’s guts. You do that with a lot of guts. He didn’t lose his focus. He didn’t get frustrated.”
At 6-under 138, Bogstrand has a two-shot lead over Brent Barry of Union, with OC’s Jared Consoli third, another shot back. For a time on Tuesday, Bogstrand and Consoli were tied for the lead in the 96-man event. Consoli eagled the par-5 No. 10 and shot a 70, his second straight under-par round.
OC junior Alasdair Dalgliesh moved into a tie for fourth at 142 with the Eagles’ top round of the day, a 4-under 68 that included a run of three straight birdies, starting with the par-5 No. 4.
Despite a 3-over 75, Logan Herbst remained in the top 10, in seventh place at even-par 144. Sam Johnston fired a 70, a five-shot improvement over Monday, and is tied for eighth at 145.
The Eagles led Union by 10 shots entering the round and steadily pulled away, even after leaving the course, as the Bulldogs – playing in the final groups – struggled on the back nine.
“It’s great to have the two guys that played bad yesterday (Dalgliesh and Johnston) come back and be our low guys today,” Lynn said. “That’s huge. When you come to a championship and you have all five guys shoot an under-par round, that is phenomenal. They have the potential to all do that on the same day.”