HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. — Guilford College’s men’s golf team shot 295 Wednesday and climbed six spots into third place after the second of four rounds at the 41-team NCAA Division III Golf Championships. The Quakers trail leader Oglethorpe University (285-292-577) by 18 strokes after the third-ranked Stormy Petrels turned in the tournament’s low score on the par-72, 6,926-yard El Campeon Course. Top-ranked Methodist University shot 300 Wednesday on the same course and sits four shots ahead of the Quakers with a 36-hole total of 591. Second-ranked University of Texas-Tyler shares third place with Guilford after both teams shot 300-295-595.
After playing in sunny and warm conditions for most of Tuesday’s first round, the 210 competitors found more volatile weather Wednesday with scattered showers and temperatures in the mid-70s. Guilford played the Mission Inn Resort’s par-72, 6,895-yard Las Colinas Course Wednesday after playing Tuesday’s round on the more challenging El Campeon Course. The Quakers’ 297 marked the fifth-lowest score among the 20 teams playing Las Colinas Wednesday.
Guilford is ranked fifth in the May 21 Golf World/NIKE Division III Coaches’ Poll and ninth in the latest Golfstat.com Division III Head-to-Head Ratings. The Quakers are after their third national title in 11 years after winning the 2002 and 2005 NCAA titles. The 2005 win came at the Mission Inn Resort facility that hosts this year’s tourney.
Junior Noah Ratner (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) led the Quakers’ charge with a one-under-par 71 Wednesday. After struggling to an opening-round 78 Tuesday, he started his second round with the first of four birdies on the day. He posted the day’s sixth-lowest score among 100 competitors on the Las Colinas Course. The two-time defending Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Player of the Year climbed 50 rungs on the individual leaderboard into a share of 33rd place at 78-71-149.
Freshman teammate Mitch Robinette (Charlotte, N.C./Grace Academy) maintained his steady play with a one-over 73 Wednesday. He has parred 31 of 36 holes en route to a 74-73-147 that shares 17th place on the leaderboard, tops on the team. Classmate Drew Thompson (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) was shooting four over after nine holes Wednesday, but rallied with an even-par 37 over the back nine for a 76. He dropped 13 spots on the leaderboard into a share of 33rd place with Ratner at 73-76-149.
Freshman Nick Shedd (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette) scored for Guilford for the second round in a row. The rookie in his third varsity tournament played the first nine holes one under par going four over on holes 10-12. He settled down to par the remaining six holes for a second-round 75 that raised him 20 spots into a share of 47th place at 77-75-152. Senior Dusty Roberts (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham County) shot 79 and shares 67th place with a 36-hole 76-79-155.
Oglethorpe freshman Anthony Maccaglia maintained his first-round lead by shooting one-under 71 Wednesday on the El Campeon Course. He is five under (68-71-139) for the tournament and holds a three-shot edge over teammate Hayden Jones (71-71-142), Claremont Mudd Scripps College’s Brad Shigezawa (68-74-142) and Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Drew Taylor (72-70-142). Huntingdon College’s Thomas Mitchell carded the tournament’s low score Wednesday playing Las Colinas and climbed 75 spots into a share of eighth place at 78-67-145.
The top-15 teams and top-six individuals not on one of those squads after 36 holes advanced to the final two rounds, which will be played Thursday and Friday on the El Campeon Course. Guilford tees off Thursday at 8:30 a.m. on the first hole.