Men's Golf Earns 13th Top 10 Finish at NCAA Championship

Men's Golf Earns 13th Top 10 Finish at NCAA Championship

The Oglethorpe men's golf team fired its best round of the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship Friday at Midvale Country Club in Penfield, New York, posting a 12-over-par 300 to finish in eighth place for the 72-hole event at 70-over-par 1218. It marks the 13th time that the Stormy Petrels have finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championship in the last 15 years. 

The Petrels posted the second-best score of the day at Midvale Country Club, bested only by the 297 put up by their SAA rival Rhodes, who finished a stroke behind them in ninth place. They sank 10 birdies in all on the difficult course and recorded double bogey or worse on just four holes. In addition, they performed well on the course's front nine, which had given them problems in the first and third rounds. They totaled five birdies and just three holes of double bogey or worse on Holes 1 through 9 at the Midvale course. They finished at 6-over par for those nine holes on Friday, besting their previous low score by nine strokes. 

Freshman Kyle Shealy used an impressive round of even-par 72 to shoot 24 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 16th place on the week, putting him just seven strokes behind a 3-way tie for the individual medal (eventually won by Virginia Wesleyan's Evan Cox in a playoff) at 15-over-par 302. He was even on both the front nine and back nine, putting up two birdies in each.
 
The Petrels were led on the day by freshman Patrick Mills, who fired a 1-under-par 71 to slice six strokes off his previous best round of the week and vault 31 spots up the leaderboard. He carded four birdies, including posting an impressive 2-under par on the last nine holes, the course's front nine. He finished tied for 27th at 18-over-par 305 for the week, putting him 10 back of the 3-man playoff. 

Senior David Kleckner carded a 6-over-par 78 on the day to finish the tournament at 22-over 309 over 72 holes. His 78 moved him nine spots up the leaderboard on the day, putting him in a tie for 40th in his final collegiate golf tournament. Freshman Jacob Arnett finished in a tie for 46th after posting an 8-over-par 80 on Friday, finishing the 4-day event at 23-over 310. Sophomore Colyn Petty rounded out the Oglethorpe scorecard on the day, coming in fourth among Petrels with a 7-over-par 79. That put him at 28-over 315 for the championship, good enough for a 62nd-place tie. 

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps captured their first Division III men's golf championship on the week with a 50-over-par 1198, besting the Petrels by 20 strokes. They used a 22-over 310 on Friday to hang onto their lead and cruise to the win. Huntingdon earned a runner-up finish, coming in six strokes behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, while Wittenberg and Washington and Lee finished tied for third, 10 back. Methodist and St. Thomas (Minnesota) tied for fifth, 13 behind the champions, while Otterbein, Oglethorpe, Rhodes and St. John Fisher rounded out the top 10.

"This was definitely our best overall round of the tournament," said Oglethorpe Director of Golf Jim Owen. "However, I will say that, of the previous three rounds, four of our other six 9-hole stretches were excellent. We just ran into trouble on the front nine at Midvale Tuesday and Thursday and it caused us to lose 20 total strokes, which turned out to be the distance between us and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. This was a very difficult course, I think the second-hardest we've ever played at an NCAA Championship, and I thought we held our own, especially going in with four underclassmen. This course took a lot of patience and it took us a couple of times through to figure it out. We had two guys playing very well today, though, with Mills and Shealy coming up with the two best rounds of the day."

"Overall, I'm very proud of our run of top 10 finishes, which this adds to," Owen continued. "Our string of 16 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances is impressive enough, but to finish 10th or better at this event in 13 of the last 15 seasons is a testament to some of the outstanding squads we've had. We've put ourselves in a position where, if the ball bounces our way over the first couple of rounds, we're going to have a chance to win. That's all you can ask for."

Third Round Recap

The Oglethorpe men's golf team shot an 18-over-par 306 at Midvale Country Club in Penfield, New York, Thursday in the third round of the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship, moving up into the top 10 with a 58-over 918 over the tournament's first 54 holes. They currently sit in ninth place, three ahead of 10th-place Illinois Wesleyan and 14 behind eighth-place St. John Fisher, with the final 18 holes of the tournament still to come on Friday. The Stormy Petrels stand 30 strokes back of leaders Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Teeing off on the Midvale course's 10th hole, just as they did on Tuesday, the Petrels again performed well over the first nine holes of their round, but ran into some trouble on the course's difficult front nine. The team carded just one double bogey on their first nine holes (Nos. 10-18), but recorded six doubles and a triple on their second nine (Nos. 1-9). 

The Petrels did get some solid performances on the day, though, allowing them to move into the top 10. Most notable was freshman Jacob Arnett, who fired a 1-over 73 on the morning to move well up the leaderboard into a tie for 40th at 15-over 230, 11 back of a tie for the individual lead between Franklin and Marshall's Stephen Colodny and Virginia Wesleyan's Evan Cox. Arnett put up four birdies on the day and was the only Petrel to not card worse than a bogey on any single hole.

Freshman Kyle Shealy finds himself tied with Arnett at 40th after a 9-over 81 on Thursday. He began his round with an eagle on the 10th hole, but carded four double bogeys, four bogeys and one birdie the rest of the way. 

Both Shealy and Arnett sit in the top half of the now 81-player field, reduced from the original 210 players after Wednesday's cut.

Sophomore Colyn Petty had the second-best round of any Petrel on Thursday, posting a 5-over 77 to improve his standing on the leaderboard and place himself at 21-over 236 for the tournament.

Both senior David Kleckner and freshman Patrick Mills fired rounds of 6-over 78 on Thursday. Kleckner now stands in the top 50 at 16-over 231, while Mills is in the top 60 at 19-over 234.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps finds themselves in excellent position heading into the final 18 holes, holding a 7-stroke lead at 28-over 888. Otterbein vaulted into second place with the best round of the day, while top-ranked Methodist sits eight back of the lead in third. Huntingdon and Wittenberg are tied for fourth, nine strokes back of the lead. Washington and Lee, St. Thomas (Minnesota), St. John Fisher, the Petrels, and Illinois Wesleyan round out the top 10. 

The Petrels will be back in action Friday morning, as they'll take their final run at the Midvale Country Club course. Petty will tee off from the 10th hole at 9:40 a.m., with Petrels teeing off every 10 minutes after that, culminating with Shealy at 10:20 a.m. 

Second Round Recap

The Oglethorpe men's golf team used a 17-over-par 301 Wednesdayt at the Mendon Golf Club in Mendon, New York, to move six spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 11th after two days at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship in the Rochester, New York, area, 27 strokes back of leaders Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The move up the leaderboard allowed the Stormy Petrels to make the cut as one of the top 15 teams over the first two days of the tournament. 

Freshman Kyle Shealy led the Petrels on the day, bouncing back with an impressive 2-under-par 69 to post a 2-day total of 6-over 149. He vaulted 83 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 26th, six strokes back of leader Kethan Reddy from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. He sank six birdies, including on each of the final two holes of his round, and was the only Petrel to not card anything worse than a bogey on the day. His 69 tied for the lowest round of the day on either course, with half the tournament field playing across town at Midvale Country Club in Penfield, New York.

Senior David Kleckner put up a 6-over 77 to finish the day tied for 53rd at 10-over 153 for the tournament, putting him 10 strokes back of the lead. Freshman Patrick Mills shot an 8-over 79 on the day to finish the second round with a total of 13-over 156, putting him in a tie for 77th after two rounds. Freshman Jacob Arnett also posted an 8-over 79 on the day, putting himself in a tie for 89th after two rounds at 14-over 157. Sophomore Colyn Petty carded three birdies of his own to finish with the second-lowest score of the day by a Petrel, posting a 5-over 76 to move 36 spots up the leaderboard and finish the first two days at 16-over 159. 

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps sits nine strokes in the lead after 36 holes, posting a 13-over 585 over the first two days of the tournament. Washington and Lee sits second, with hosts St. John Fisher and top-ranked Methodist tied for third, 12 strokes back. Huntingdon stands in fifth place after the opening 36 holes, 15 back of the lead.

The Petrels will return to Midvale Country Club for the remaining two rounds of the tournament, which will take place Thursday and Friday. They'll get their third round started at 8:50 a.m. Thursday on the 10th tee, and will be paired with familiar foes LaGrange and Rhodes.

First Round Recap

The Oglethorpe men's golf team suffered a difficult back nine Tuesday afternoon at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship at Midvale Country Club in Penfield, New York, leading to a round of 23-over-par 311. That put them in a tie for 17th, 21 strokes back of leaders Claremont-Mudd-Scripps after the opening 18 holes of the 72-hole event. 

The Stormy Petrels shot 19-over par as a team on the final nine holes Tuesday, which came on the course's front nine. They carded seven double bogeys and a triple bogey over the course of those nine holes and that, combined with just three birdies over the course of those same nine holes, put the Petrels behind the eight-ball. That came after a solid opening nine holes, where the Petrels totaled 4-over par, including eight birdies and just one double bogey. 

Senior David Kleckner led the Petrels on the day, finishing the opening round tied for 38th after posting a 4-over-par 76. That put him seven strokes back of Kethan Reddy of Claremont-M-S for the individual lead. Kleckner wound up as the only Petrel on the day to not card a double bogey or worse. 

Freshman Patrick Mills came in a stroke back of Kleckner, posting a 5-over 77 to put him eight strokes back of the lead in a tie for 52nd. He led the Petrels with three birdies on the afternoon. Fellow freshman Jacob Arnett put up a 6-over 78 on the afternoon, good enough for a tie for 69th in the 210-player field. He finished Day 1 nine strokes back of the individual lead. 

Freshman Kyle Shealy rounded out the Oglethorpe scorecard, posting an 8-over 80, while sophomore Colyn Petty carded an 11-over 83 on the day. 

Claremont-M-S posted an impressive 2-over 286 on the day, giving themselves an 11-stroke lead over second-place St. Thomas (Minnesota). Hosts St. John Fisher and top-ranked Methodist finished the first day tied for third, 12 strokes back, while Wittenberg enters Day 2 in fifth place, 13 strokes back.

The Petrels will look to bounce back during Day 2 of the tournament in the Rochester, New York, area. They'll head across town on Wednesday to the Mendon Golf Club in Mendon, New York, where they'll tee off starting at 8:20 a.m. The top 15 teams at the end of the second round will make the cut to the final two days of the tournament at Midvale Country Club, which will take place Thursday and Friday. 

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