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Merkle Finishes Third at Dale McNamara Invitational

Junior Kristina Merkle (left), holding her all-tournament team trophy, poses with former TU coach Dale McNamara after shooting a final-round 68 to place third in the Dale McNamara Invitational.
Junior Kristina Merkle (left), holding her all-tournament team trophy, poses with former TU coach Dale McNamara after shooting a final-round 68 to place third in the Dale McNamara Invitational.
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Sept. 14, 2011

Round 3 Results Get Acrobat Reader

OWASSO, Okla. - Junior Kristina Merkle fired a four-under par 68 in windy conditions Wednesday in the final round of the Dale McNamara Invitational to place third with a three-round total of 215 at The Patriot Golf Club.

The Golden Hurricane had its best team round of the tournament, shooting 299 to finish in fifth place with a three-round total of 901. Two Hurricane golfers finished in the top 10, as senior Marita Engzelius shot a 72 in the final round to tie for ninth with a three-round 221.

Merkle, with her one-under par 215, was one of only three players to shoot under par for the tournament. Her 68 on Wednesday was one of only five rounds in the 60s over the three-day tournament.

"Kristina had a great round today," Tulsa Head Coach Randy Keck said. "She had a solid round yesterday, and she felt like she was very close to finding her golf swing. She had a little swag today. She had a lot of confidence going on, got off to a good start and never stepped off the gas. It was a great round."

Oklahoma State shot a 13-under par 275 in the third round to win the team title with an overall score of 868. Arizona State's Giulia Molinaro took home individual medalist honors with a 74 in the final round, totaling a 6-under par 210 for the tournament.

Engzelius shot an even-par 72 in the final round, after shooting 74 and 75 in the first two rounds, moving six spots up the leaderboard into the top 10.

"Marita is always solid. She is the perfect college golfer," said Keck. "You know what you're going to get out of her every single day. You're going to get her very best effort. You're going to get her best golf. She is one of those kids that seems to love adverse conditions. When the conditions get tough, she gets better. That says a lot for her toughness and a lot for her character."

TU sophomore Kayla Riede shot a 76 in the final round to tie for 45th with a three-round 233. Freshman Anna Young posted an 83 to total 235 for the tournament, and junior Shu-Yin Liu shot an 84 in the final round to total 242.

"We're excited about a few of the things we saw," Keck said. "We saw some real bright spots this week. Granted we didn't win, but we had a good round out of our freshman from Canada, Anna Young. She shot 73 in the first round, and we're really proud of her. We got a 68 from Kristina today, and Scooby (Shu-Yin Liu) played a little better today, and we're getting better every day. I think it's going to be great. By the end of the school year, we're hoping to peak at the right time."

OSU finished five strokes ahead of Arizona State, which totaled 873 after a third-round 301 Wednesday. Northwestern shot a 289 to total 883 and finish in third place, while Iowa State shot a team 290 in the third round to total 888 for the tournament and end in fourth place.

For the tournament, Merkle finished one stroke behind OSU's Jayde Panos, who tied a course record with a 64 on Wednesday, and placed second with a three-round total of 214.

"I was very pleased with the way the tournament went off," said Keck. "Any time you get to play in front of Coach (Dale) McNamara, a lady that has probably won more golf tournaments than anybody in college golf, just getting to see her on the golf course is an inspiration to begin with. She's always encouraging, and she's thoughtful about a lot of things. It was so great to have Arizona State out here, with Melissa (Luellen) coaching - Dale's daughter ¬¬- and it was great to have Coach Bratton come over from Oklahoma State and bring his kids. It's a good in-state rivalry. It was just an awesome tournament on a beautiful, beautiful golf course."

The Golden Hurricane returns to action next week, Sept. 19-21, when it travels to Wolcott, Colo., for the GolfWeek Challenge.

For all Tulsa women's golf news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane.

Team Results
1.	Oklahoma State				294-299-275=868
2. 	Arizona State				280-292-301=873
3.	Northwestern				303-291-289=883
4.	Iowa State				300-298-290=888
5.	Tulsa					300-302-299=901
6.	Oral Roberts				304-296-305=905
7.	Kansas State				311-298-301=910
8. 	Longwood				302-300-309=911
9.	Middle Tennessee State			298-306-309=913
10.	UCF					308-295-313=916
T11.	UALR					309-307-311=927
T11.	Kansas					313-304-310=927
13.	Missouri				320-306-306=932
14.	Arkansas State				315-300-323=938
15.	Southern Miss				314-312-320=950

Tulsa Individuals 3. Kristina Merkle 77-70-68=215 T9. Marita Engzelius 74-75-72=221 T45. Kayla Riede 76-81-76=233 T51. Anna Young 73-79-83=235 T64. Shu Yin Liu 80-78-84=242

Top-5 Individuals 1. Giulia Molinaro, Arizona State 67-69-74=210 2. Jayde Panos, Oklahoma State 78-72-64=214 3. Kristina Merkle, Tulsa 77-70-68=215 T4. Justine Lee, Arizona State 70-74-75=219 T4. Devon Brown, Northwestern 75-70-74=219