By Sean Ditmore/Staff Writer
The Pioneer golfers made up eight strokes over second-ranked Oklahoma Christian in the final round of competition, and then won a two-hole sudden death playoff to win the 3rd Annual Peaks Classic at Grandote Peaks Golf Course in LaVeta, Col.
“These guys really clutched it out at the end,” Coach Tom Harp said following his team’s exciting victory. “You’ve got to tip a hat to Jeff Dagg today. He shot the low round for the tournament (a 68). He was four-under on the front nine, made one mistake on 11, then birdies the last hole to get us into the playoff.”
The Pioneers led by one stroke after the first 18 holes of play on a cool and blustery day in Colorado, but the Eagles from Oklahoma Christian came back in the second round to shoot a 292 that afternoon to move into the lead.
Dagg and freshman Michael Loppnow combined to help the Pioneers shoot a 288 to earn the tie and force a playoff.
“What a tremendous tournament for freshman Michael Loppnow,” Harp said. “In the first tournament of his college career he shoots an even par today. I can’t be more excited about the young kid. He birdies the first hole in the playoff, hitting an eight-foot shot, knowing he had to make it just to tie. I’m just thrilled to see the young kid do that.”
OC’s Bruno Buccolo took individual honors with a three-round total of 215. Noah Smithson of Newman University came in second (217) and WBU’s Jeff Dagg and OC’s Sean Elliott tied for third place with a 218.
Junior Kevin Stinson, who had a terrific second shot out of the rough in the second hole of sudden death to keep the Pioneers alive, finished the tournament in sixth place with a seven-over 223, one stroke behind Loppnow.
Senior J.J. Brumley came in 10th (229 +13), while fellow senior Brent Kirstein was 16th (233 +17). It was Kirstein’s birdie putt in the second hold of the playoff that helped seal the win for WBU.
Colby Anderson was the top Pioneer medalist, finishing 21st, while Cole Martinson was 28th.