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Johnston (71) within striking distance after 1st round at Patriot All-America

OC sophomore Sam Johnston is tied for 14th after the first round of the Patriot All-America Invitational.
OC sophomore Sam Johnston is tied for 14th after the first round of the Patriot All-America Invitational.

LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. (Dec. 29, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian golfer Sam Johnston fired a 1-over-par 71 on Sunday and was tied for 14th after the first round of the Patriot All-America Invitational on the Gold Course at The Wigwam.

The 84-man tournament is an all-star event that features All-Americans from the previous season in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as All-Americans from the NAIA, NJCAA and American Junior Golf Association ranks. Last spring, Johnston became OC’s first Division II All-American in any sport, earning second-team honors.

Johnston, a sophomore from San Diego, started his round on No. 10 and bogeyed the par-4 No. 13, but made the turn on the 6,982-yard course at even par after a birdie on the par-4 No. 18.

He bogeyed the par-4 No. 2, then responded with a birdie on No. 4, one of two par-5 holes on the course, to return to even par. But he bogeyed No. 5, a par-4, before finishing his round with four straight pars.

Johnston was in a four-way tie for 14th, five shots behind the leader, Tim Crouch of Florida Southern.

The tournament will continue with rounds on Monday and Tuesday.

It’s the third straight year OC has been represented in the event. OC’s Preston Wilkins played in the tournament in 2011, while Vilhelm Bogstrand and Alasdair Dalgliesh played in last year’s event.

The tournament benefits Folds of Honor, a charitable organization that provides college scholarships for children and spouses of U.S. military service members who are killed or disabled while serving in the nation’s armed forces.