BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – The Oklahoma Wesleyan University golf team has upgraded its schedule significantly coming off last season. The Eagles and Lady Eagles schedule is packed with perennial golf powers.
The Men’s Golf Team is coming off a successful season which saw the Eagles win two tournaments, finish in the top 5 five times, finish 2nd in the MCAC Conference Tournament, and receive votes for the top 25 for the first time in school history. It was the best season for the Eagles since winning the MCAC Conference Tournament in 2007.
“We had a great year last year,” OKWU coach T. J. Dickinson said. “We have upgraded our fall schedule to play some more national level competition. It will be great to see where we stack up.”
On September 2nd and 3rd, the Eagles travel to Southwestern Christian’s Fall Invitational hosted at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. This tournament will host two top 10 schools in last year’s final NAIA poll.
“It’s a great early season test for us,” Dickinson said. “We get to find out right away where we stand. The schedule only gets tougher from here, and we are going to find out where we are immediately.”
The Eagles will return to Oklahoma City the following week on September 8th and 9th to participate in the U.C. Ferguson Classic hosted by Oklahoma City University. The tournament will be hosted at Lincoln Park.
“Oklahoma City will have a great field,” Dickinson commented. “They are a national power in golf, and their tournament field reflects such. It will be fun to play against national level competition so close to home.”
Following the U.C. Ferguson, the Eagles will return to action on September 22nd and 23rd as the host of the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association Central/Southwest Regional. The inaugural event will be hosted at Owasso Golf and Athletic Club. This event will host top teams from NCAA DII as well as the NAIA.
‘It’s a pleasure for us to get to host this event,” Dickinson said. Dickinson serves as the NCCAA Central Region Men’s Golf Chair. “This event is for an automatic bid to the National Tournament, and I am looking forward to hosting the event on a great golf course.”
The following week the Eagles will travel to Newton, Kansas to play in the Mid-South Classic. Oklahoma City University and Grandview University co-host the event at Sand Creek Station. Sand Creek was the site of the 2014 USGA Pub-Links Championship. This event will again host several top 25 teams.
“This will be our first trip to Sand Creek Station,” Dickinson commented. “We are looking forward to playing a great golf course that recently hosted an outstanding USGA event.”
In addition to these tournaments, the Eagles will also play a full J.V. schedule. The J.V. will be traveling to places such as Paris Country Club in Paris, TX, Rivercut in Springfield, MO, Carey Park in Hutchinson, KS, and Salina Municipal and Elks Country Club in Salina, KS.
“Our J.V. is expected to compete at these events,” Dickinson said. “We build our program so that our second five is just as competitive as our first five. We had an individual win a tournament off our “B” team last year, and they finished 2nd four times as a team.”
In addition, the Lady Eagles will be competing in their second full year of competition. It was a successful first year. The Lady Eagles finished 3rd in the Conference Tournament. They were able to produce two All-Conference players. In addition, the Lady Eagles had the Freshman of the Year. They too will open the season at Lake Hefner as part of the Southwestern Christian University Fall Invitational.
“We are looking for good things out of our women’s program,” Dickinson said. “We had a good start to the program last year, and we are looking to become more competitive this year.”
The Lady Eagles will also make a trip to Paris, Texas to play at Paris Country Club as part of Paris Community College’s Fall Tournament.
“Paris Country Club is a great course,” Dickinson said. “Our women competed here last year, so it will be familiar to them. It’s also a great test early with 36 holes in a day.”
Following the trip to Texas, the Lady Eagles will play in the inaugural NCCAA Central/Southwest Regional Tournament. This tournament will be hosted in conjunction with the men’s event at Owasso Golf and Athletic Club.
“Owasso Golf and Athletic Club is a great course for our women,” Dickinson said. “It will be good to see them compete against some high level competition from both the NCAA DII level as well as the NAIA level.”
The Lady Eagles will also participate in the Sterling College Fall Invitational at Carey Park in Hutchinson, Kansas.
“Carey Park is another course that sets up great for our women’s team.” Dickinson said. “We competed here last year, and we came up just a little short. I am excited to see what we can do this year.”
Completing the fall schedule for the Lady Eagles will be a trip to Salina, Kansas. Bethany College will host their tournament at Salina Municipal and Elks Country Club.
“This is another great opportunity for our women,” Dickinson said. “We will again play 36 holes in a day, and we will get to see how much fight we have.”
You can follow all the Eagles updates at www.okwu.edu/athletics, with the athletics programs looking forward to another successful season.