Greensboro, N.C. — Methodist University captured its fifth Tom and Bettie O’Briant Memorial Golf Tournament in six years Tuesday afternoon at the Cardinal Golf and Country Club. The Monarchs placed three students among the top-five finishers in the 73-student field to outdistance the Oglethorpe University by 26 strokes. Tournament host Guilford College shot 302-324-626 and shared third place among 14 teams with Rhodes College (305-321-626).
Methodist junior Josh Schrader (Pittsburgh, Penn.) won his first college tournament after managing the very windy and cold conditions with a 72-71-143. His 71 marked the day’s low round. Teammate Matt Bova (Bloomington, Ill.) placed second with a 71-77-148.
The Monarchs shot the low team score both days, including Tuesday’s 300, which was 13 strokes better than Tuesday’s next score, Cape Fear Community College’s 313. In addition to Schrader and Bova’s strong play, senior Tom Cooper (Scotia, N.Y.) shot 75 Tuesday to place fifth with a two-day 153. Junior Liam Friedman (Lackawanna, N.Y.) placed fourth for the Monarchs and 19th overall with a 36-hole 159.
Schrader, a 2008 PING NCAA Division III All-American, started the day one stroke behind Bova after an opening-round 72. On a blustery day where the overall average score was over 84, Schrader birdied three holes and managed 11 pars on the par-70 layout. He finished five strokes ahead of his teammate, who finished with a 36-hole 148 (+8). Guilford freshman Jeff Boyan (High Point, N.C./Ledford) posted the lowest 36-hole score (74-76-150) of his short college career to share third place with Rhodes junior Doug Gordon (Winter Park, Fla.), who shot 73-77-150.
Guilford earned its fourth top-three finish in as many fall tournaments. Quakers’ junior Peter Latimer (Markinch Fife, Scotland) carded his second straight 77 Tuesday and shared sixth-place among individuals (154). Senior Burton Wood (Siler City, N.C./Jordan-Matthews) struggled to an 85 Tuesday and ended up in a 23rd-place tie with a two-day 160. Junior Brian Creghan (Radnor, Pa.) shot 79-86-165 and shared 36th place, one stroke better than rookie teammate Dusty Roberts (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham County) (76-90-166).
The 21st annual O’Briant Memorial featured seven of NCAA Division III’s top-25 teams, according to the Oct. 16 Golf World/NIKE Golf Division III Coaches poll, including three of the top-six squads. Ten of Division III’s last 15 national champions were also in the field. Second-ranked Methodist, fourth-ranked Oglethorpe and sixth-ranked Guilford made this one of Division III’s top fall tournaments. Rhodes is the nation’s 11th-ranked team in the poll.
The teams competed on the par-70, 6,944-yard layout in northwest Greensboro. The event returned to the renovated Cardinal Golf and Country Club following two years at the Greensboro Country Club. Guilford first hosted this tournament from 1978-87 when it was called the Guilford College Invitational.