GREENSBORO, N.C. – Ryan Elmore’s three-under-par 69 helped Berry College to first place after 54 holes of the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center. The Vikings shot 292 as a team Wednesday to claim a one-stroke lead over hard-charging Wittenberg University. The Tigers posted the day’s low score with a one-under 287 and moved into second place, one stroke off the lead.
LaGrange College shot a two-over 290 and assumed third place, one stroke ahead of 10-time tournament champion Methodist University (881). Second-round leader University of Redlands struggled to a 14-over 302 and slipped four spots into fifth place at 883.
Oglethorpe University senior Anthony Maccaglia shot one-under 71 on Grandover’s par-72, 7,200-yard East Course to retain a share of his individual lead. University of La Verne’s Kelby Scharmann, the tourney’s 18-hole leader, turned in Wednesday’s low score with a four-under 68 that moved him into a share of first place in the 210-man field. Both students have scores of 209.
Berry, the 1998 NAIA men’s golf national champion, is its second year of full NCAA Division III membership and bidding for its first Division III crown. While Elmore has both of the Vikings’ subpar individual rounds in this tournament, Berry has risen to the top with consistent team scoring (294-290-292-876). Elmore played the back nine at four-under Wednesday and climbed into third place at 212, three shots behind Maccaglia and Scharmann. Drew Kosko (73), Ty Hampel (74) and Kile Williams (76) rounded out Berry’s scorers Wednesday.
Wittenberg’s 287 team score Wednesday is the East Course’s lowest round this week and moved the Tigers up three spots into second place at 877. Alex Andrews tallied an eagle-three on the sixth hole en route to a three-under 69. Teammate John Chaney notched six birdies, four on the back nine, in his two-under round of 70. All four Tigers birdied the 18th hole, including Sam Stillwell, who shot 73.
Scharmann started his round from the 10th tee Wednesday and made the turn even, but caught fire down the stretch with four birdies on his last five holes. He chased down Maccaglia, the 2012 NCAA Tournament medalist, who was one-under Wednesday with birdie putts on holes five and seven. Berry’s Elmore lurks three shots behind at 212. Hampden-Sydney’s Brian Burt, one of six individual contestants remaining in the field, is fourth at 215 thanks to Wednesday’s one-over 73.
Tournament co-host Guilford College dropped two positions into ninth place after shooting 302 Wednesday, the Quakers’ highest score of the week. Sophomore Ty Palmer jumped 20 spots into a share of eighth place among individuals with a three-under 69 Wednesday. Classmate Tanner Gross shot 73 and sits two shots behind Palmer in a share of 16th place at 219. Senior Drew Thompson, who started the day two shots out of the lead, struggled to an 80, his highest score of the year. He shares 18th place at 220.
Friday’s fourth and final round starts at 8:00 a.m. Friday on Grandover’s East Course. The top-three teams tee off in five pairings beginning at 9:25 a.m. Guilford’s golfers start at 8:50 a.m. from the 10th tee. A ceremony to honor team and individual award winners is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on the resort property.