GREENSBORO, N.C. – Methodist University shot 293-285-578to capture its record seventh O’Briant-Jensen Memorial Men’s Golf Tournament Tuesday afternoon at the Cardinal Golf and Country Club. The Monarchs swept the top-two places and placed three golfers among the top-four finishers in the 90-student field. Methodist last won the tournament in 2009 and placed second in 2010 and 2011.
Mike Wesko became the sixth Methodist student in 10 years to claim medalist honors by carding a 71-70-141. He edged teammate Jeff Wells and LaGrange College’s Cory Howard by two strokes for the title. The Monarchs’ Andrew Bateman shot 74-70-144 and shared fourth place with Guilford sophomore Drew Thompson, who shot 72-72-144. First-round leader Scott Novicki of Greensboro College claimed sixth place with a 70-77-147.
Host Guilford College (291-300-591) fell 14 strokes shy of its third straight O’Briant-Jensen crown and took second in the 16-team field for the fourth time in tournament history. First-round leader Greensboro College (290-308-598) placed third, followed by Huntingdon College (304-300-604) and Christopher Newport University (312-299-611).
Wesko started his round on the par-70, 7,002-yard layout Tuesday with a birdie three. He also birdied the fourth and seventh holes and made the turn one-under for the day. Save a bogey on the par-three 12th hole, Wesko parred each of the final nine holes to finish with an even-par round for the day. Ben Boyle provided the Monarchs’ fourth score of the day with a three-over 74 that left him in a share of 19th place at 152. Dakun Chang shot 76-82-158 and placed 35th.
Thompson’s one-over 72 marked the Quakers’ low round Tuesday. Defending tournament medalist Noah Ratner turned in a 77 Tuesday, which helped him place 12th individually at 149. Guilford sophomore Nick Shedd shot 72-78-150 and shared 16th place. Travis Tolbert (75-78-153) and Ben Pinkleton (88-73-161) rounded out the Quakers’ performance. Dallas Page shot 77-78-155 and placed a team-best 28th for Guilford’s ‘B’ squad, which finished in ninth place.
The 25th annual O’Briant-Jensen Memorial featured six of NCAA Division III’s top-25 teams, according to the Oct. 3 Golf World/NIKE Golf Division III Coaches’ Poll, including two of the top-five squads. Second-ranked Methodist and fifth-ranked Guilford made this a challenging fall tournament. Eight schools were ranked among the top-50 teams in the Oct. 21 Golfstat.com Division III Head-to-Head Standings.
The O’Briant-Jensen returned to the renovated Pete Dye-designed Cardinal Golf and Country Club in 2008 following two years at the Greensboro Country Club. Guilford first hosted the tournament from 1978-87 when it was called the Guilford College Invitational. It is named for longtime Guilford golf supporters Tom & Bettie O’Briant as well former Guilford golf mentor Jack Jensen, who died suddenly in March 2010 in the midst of his 33rd season as the Quakers’ golf coach.