SAPPHIRE, N.C. – Guilford College’s men’s golf team saved its best for last Sunday to finish ninth at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley. The Quakers, ranked eighth in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf NCAA Division III Coaches’ Poll, shot a season-low 289 to finish at 598 for 36 holes.
Guilford was the lone non-NCAA Division I school competing in the 13-team event at the par-71, 6,767-yard course in western North Carolina. The Quakers had the third-lowest score of the day Sunday and climbed three spots on the team leader board. First-round leader Samford University (282-288-570) earned the team title by 12 strokes over tourney host Western Carolina University and Belmont University. Western Carolina carded the day’s low score, an even-par 284, to climb into a share of second with Belmont (286-296-582).
Quakers’ senior Noah Ratner (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) had his low score of the season with a two-under 69, which helped him place a team-best seventh in the 82-man field. Ratner started on the 10th hole Sunday. He had three birdies and two birdies after seven holes, but parred 10 straight holes before closing his round with a birdie three on number nine. He was one of seven students who shot a round-best 69 Sunday and was joined by teammate Dallas Page (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham County (Averett)). Playing in his first varsity tournament, Page used an eagle three on the 14th hole to play five-under through six holes. He finished with a 36-hole 148, which ranked 25th in the field.
Sophomore Travis Tolbert shot 75 Sunday, three shots better than his opening-round score, and placed 45th overall at 153. Classmate Andrew Thompson shot 76 Sunday to finish one stroke behind Tolbert in 51st at 154. Sophomore Nick Shedd also shot 76 Sunday and placed 74th at 162.
Samford’s Casey O’Toole took home medalist honors by shooting a second straight round of 69. He finished four-under at 138, three strokes in front of first-round leader Daley Byles (67-74-141) of Gardner-Webb University and Byles’ teammate, Daniel Kim (72-69-141).
The Hummingbird marked the end of coach Corey Maggard’s Quakers’ fall campaign. Guilford won the Ted Keller Memorial and placed second in the O’Briant-Jensen Memorial in October and return to action Feb. 25-26 in the Pine Needles Intercollegiate.