HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. – Saint Joseph's College capped the 2017 NCAA DIII Championship in a tie for 41st place with a two-round 664 (335-329) score at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort on Wednesday. The Monks shaved six strokes off their first round score with a 329 card at the Las Colinas Golf Course.
Sophomore Adam Hachey (Winthrop, Maine) led the Royal Blue with a 78 score on Wednesday and – with a 167 (89-78) - completed the national tournament as the Monks' second-highest scorer behind senior captain Michael Caron (Gorham, Maine), who shot an 81 in the second round and finished tied for 75th individually with a 155 (74-81) performance.
Sophomore Adam Batchelder (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) shot an 85 with a two-day 171 (86-85) card, junior Brandon Labrecque (Gorham, Maine) posted an 85 for a two-round 171 (86-85) score, and sophomore Cam Letourneau (Hebron, Maine) posted an 87 with a 176 (89-87) final.
For the Monks, today's effort concludes the 2017 NCAA DIII Championship – and the 2016-17 season - as only the top 18 teams advance to the final two rounds. New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Champion Williams College finished 14th with a 613 (314-299) score and was the only New England Region program to advance to the final rounds.
The 2016-17 campaign goes down as the most successful season in SJC Golf history, as the Royal Blue won nine tournaments, including the Maine State Championship and the program's first-ever conference title, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship, during the fall and spring seasons combined. With the GNAC crown, the Monks earned an automatic qualifier into the NCAA DIII Championship Tournament for the first time in team history. The Monks also trekked to Florida and Georgia during the program's inaugural Spring Break trip in early March.
Saint Joseph's graduated five seniors last weekend: Caron, Dylan Cox (Oxford, Maine), Ryan Godin (Oxford Hills, Maine), Jake Moody (Biddeford, Maine), and Brendan Woelfel (Lowell, Mass.) and return four of the team's top five players next fall.
Caron, a three-year team captain and arguably the best player in the history of SJC Golf, will be nearly impossible to replace. He leaves the program as the Monks' career leader in Medalist honors (12) and top-10 finishes (32) and garnered 23 accolades during his collegiate career, including the prestigious NEIGA Guy Tedesco Award and 11 GNAC weekly honors.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.
Huntingdon Maintains Spot Atop Leaderboard as Field Cuts to 18 Teams at NCAA Division III Championship
Lambeth Maintains Lead in Race for Individual Medal
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - The top-ranked Huntingdon Hawks continued their excellent play Wednesday afternoon at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship at Mission Inn Resort and Club. They carded a 3-over-par 291 on the Las Colinas course to maintain their position atop the leaderboad, sitting at 8-over 584 through 36 holes. That put them four strokes ahead of second-place Wittenberg, who posted an impressive 2-over 290 on Tuesday on the signature El Campeon course to vault four spots from their sixth-place tie at the end of the first round.
It was another good day for Huntingdon's Addison Lambeth, as well, as he maintained sole possession of the individual lead with an even-par 72 on the afternoon, giving himself a 2-stroke lead over Guilford's Josh Hill and Wittenberg's Cameron Willis.
Wednesday served as the last round before the field was cut to 18 teams and the six best individuals not on those teams. The day culminated in sudden-death drama on the individual side, as a 3-way playoff was necessary to decide the final two individual spots. Ferrum's Brandon Bailey, Christopher Newport's Harry Nodwell and Pomona-Pitzer's Conor Rooney went to El Campeon's first hole to begin the proceedings, and Bailey quickly grabbed one of the two remaining spots with a par on the par-5 hole, compared with bogeys for the other two competitors.
Nodwell and Rooney were then locked in a 2-way playoff, and both parred the par-3 second and the par-4 third. With daylight fading, the final spot was decided on the uphill par-4 fourth. Both gave themselves a chip to the green from the fairway on their third shot, but Rooney put his within a few feet of the hole. Nodwell missed his longer par attempt and Rooney sank his, giving Rooney the final individual spot.
Back on the team side, Guilford shot an outstanding 5-over 293 on Las Colinas to move into third place, nine strokes back of Huntingdon. Meanwhile, Greensboro posted a 9-over 297 to move into fourth and Texas-Tyler dropped to fifth with a 17-over 305 on El Campeon. Rhodes, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Methodist, LaGrange and Hope rounded out the top 10, with Washington and Lee, Emory, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Williams, St. John's (Minnesota), Illinois Wesleyan, Webster and Pacific Lutheran all making the cut.
Individually, Huntingdon's Stephen Shephard, Methodist's Craig Decato and Wittenberg's Garrett Brickley all sat at even-par through two rounds, putting themselves in a tie for fourth, 3 strokes back of Lambeth. LaGrange's Logan Lanier and Franklin & Marshall's Brad Lankler finished the day tied for seventh, with Hope's Josh Gibson ninth, and a 3-way tie for 10th, featuring George Toone and Sam Hill of Texas-Tyler, and Chris Harris of Rhodes.
Lankler made the cut as an individual, though his team finished 20th and did not make the cut. He joined Bailey, Rooney, Husson's Gavin Dugas, Carnegie Mellon's George Qian and Berry's Ryan Elmore as the six players who will compete as individuals over the final two days.
The tournament will continue Thursday morning at 8 a.m. on El Campeon, as all 18 remaining teams and six remaining individuals take to the course for a shot at earning a national championship.
This marks the third time that Oglethorpe University, the Central Florida Sports Commission and Mission Inn Resort and Club have combined to host the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship. The other two times were in 2005 and 2012.