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Vela’s Top-Five Finish Leads Men’s Golf to 7th

San Antonio – Matt Vela fired a final round 70 to finish fifth overall and lead the St. Mary’s University men’s golf team to a seventh place finish at the University of Central Oklahoma Kickingbird Classic, Tuesday at the Kickingbird Country club in Edmond, Okla. The women’s team also wrapped up play on Tuesday, finishing 16th at the Grand Canyon Women’s Invitational in Goodyear, Ariz.

Vela (Fr., San Antonio) finished the tournament red-hot, firing a one-over par 71 in the second round and an even-par round of 70 in the final round to finish just four strokes behind medalist Colby Shrum of the University of Central Oklahoma. Baer Anneshansley, also of UCO was second with a 213, while Brady Jones of Midwestern State University and Chance Tatum of UCO tied for third with identical 214s. Vela shot a three-round total of 215 (74-71-70) to post his sixth top-10 finish of the season and fourth in a row.

Preston Akromis (Jr., San Antonio) tied for 26th overall with a three-round total of 223 (74-76-73), Jimmy Willingham (Sr., San Antonio) was 39th with a 226 (79-75-72), James Grant (So., San Antonio) was 57th with a 233 (75-81-77) and Jerry Holguin (Fr., San Antonio) was 82nd with a 242 (77-86-79). Playing as an individual Alex Maurer (Jr., St. Louis, Mo.) finished 43rd with a 227 (76-79-72).

Central Oklahoma tied with Midwestern State for team honors, but won the tournament title on a scorecard playoff. Both teams had three-round totals of 870. St. Edward’s University was third with an 872, Cameron University was fourth with an 883, Southwestern Oklahoma State University was fifth with an 887, Southeastern Oklahoma State University was sixth with an 891 and St. Mary’s was seventh with an 895 (300-303-292).

Amanda Anderson (Jr., San Antonio) led the way for the women’s team, placing 23rd overall with a two-round total of 157 (81-76). Stephanie Bird of Northeastern State University took medalist honors with a two-round total of 147 (71-76). For the Rattlers, Ursula Perez (Fr., San Antonio) was 40th with a 162 (85-77), Jenna Wessels (So., Katy) was 74th with a 173 (84-89), Sonya Sanchez (So., McCamey) was 83rd with a 182 (91-91) and Marie Hulsey (So., El Paso) was 86th with a 189 (95-94).

California Baptist University took top honors among the teams with a two-round total of 615 (310-305), winning a scorecard playoff over St. Edward’s (307-308 – 615). Tarleton State University was third with a 620 (313-307). St. Mary’s was 16th with a two-round total of 674 (343-331).

The men’s golf team will return to the links on Monday, March 31, at the Buffalo Stampede Men’s Golf Invitational at the La Paloma Golf Club in Amarillo. The women will play their final tune-up for the Heartland Conference Tournament when they travel to Amarillo to play in the Lady Buff Invitational, also on March 31.