GREENSBORO, N.C. – The University of Redlands shot 296 Wednesday and assumed first place after two rounds of the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center. The Bulldogs, who finished third in last year’s national tourney, have a two-day score of 581, three shots ahead of Berry College in the 41-team field.
Oglethorpe University senior Anthony Maccaglia blistered Grandover’s East Course with a four-under 68 Wednesday, which vaulted him into first place among 210 individual competitors. His 36-hole total of 138 gives him a two-stroke edge over Drew Thompson of tournament co-host Guilford College. First-round leader Kelby Scharmann of the University La Verne carded a three-over-par 75 on the West Course Wednesday, which dropped him into third place at 141.
First-round leader Methodist University faltered early in cool and breezy conditions on the par-72, 7,200-yard East Course, which opened the door for Redlands. The Bulldogs trailed the Monarchs by one stroke after Monday’s first round on the par-72, 6,710-yard West Course. Methodist started from the 10th tee Wednesday, made the turn at 12-over par, but played the first nine holes 2-over to finish at 302. Redlands opened from the first tee and played the back nine in one-over par as a team. The Bulldogs’ 296 was second only to Oglethorpe’s 294 among squads playing the tougher East Course Wednesday.
Methodist’s late rally helped the 10-time Division III champions hold onto third place at 586, four strokes behind Berry. The Vikings carded Wednesday’s low score (290) on the West Course to climb four spots. Berry’s Ryan Elmore shot one-under 71, second only to Wittenberg University’s Jared Wissinger among West individuals. Wissinger’s 70 helped the Tigers to a share of fifth place with LaGrange College at 590, one stroke behind Illinois Wesleyan University (292-297-589).
Maccaglia, Division III’s top-ranked golfer and the 2012 Division III Tournament medalist, helped his top-ranked Stormy Petrels climb two spots into a share of seventh place with Guilford and the University of Texas-Tyler at 591. The senior from Tampa, Florida, carded the day’s low round with six birdies, two bogeys and 10 pars. He started his round with four birdies on the East Course’s first eight holes. Teammate David Kleckner vaulted 33 spots on the individual leaderboard with a second-round 69 (-3) on the strength of three birdies on the back nine, including one on 18.
Guilford’s Thompson also shot 69 on the West, moving up eight spots after an opening-round 71. The Quakers’ senior trails Maccaglia by two strokes and holds a one-shot edge over Scharmann (66-75-141). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges rookie Matt Shuman fired a one-over 73 on the West Course and is part of a three-way tie for fourth place at 142. Hampden-Sydney College’s Brian Burt shot 74 Wednesday on the East for a 36-hole total of 142. Fellow individual contestant Adam Peterson of Texas Lutheran University is also in fourth place after a second straight round of 71.
Thompson helped the Quakers record the fourth-best team score on the East Course Wednesday. Teammate Tanner Gross turned in a 74 and Ty Palmer and Henry Smith both counted with 77 for the Quakers. Gross holds a share of 20th place among individuals at 146, two shots ahead of Palmer, who is at 148 and tied for 28th place.
The low-15 teams advance to the tournament’s final two rounds, which will be played Thursday and Friday on the East Course. St. John Fisher University and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps both edged Central College by one stroke for the final positions. St. John Fisher was in the last group of teams to play Wednesday and shot five-over-par on the East’s back-nine holes. The Cardinals shot 303 in the round and are at 605 for the tournament. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps advances on the strength of a 297 Tuesday on the East Course, as the Stags shot 308 Wednesday on the West.
Six individuals not competing on one of the 15 advancing squads also qualified for the final two rounds: Burt, Peterson, Jack Whelan (St. Lawrence University), Justin Sisson (Messiah College), Desmond Stoll (Central) and Cody Hebert (Southwestern University). Hebert won final position in a one-hole playoff. He drained a five-foot birdie putt on the East’s par-5 18th hole to edge Scott Klein (Penn State Erie, The Behrend College) and Jack Cersosimo (Concordia (Texas) University), who both made par.