GREENSBORO, N.C. – Huntingdon College’s Will Thrash shot a three-under-par 68 in Tuesday’s second and final round to win the O’Briant-Jensen Memorial Golf Tournament in record-setting fashion. His 36-hole tournament record helped the Hawks win for the second straight season. Thrash shot 66-68-134, which propelled the top-ranked Hawks to a 277-288-565, the lowest 36-hole total in the tournament’s 29-year history.
Tournament host Guilford College shot Tuesday’s low round at the par-71, 6,763-yard Sedgefield Golf Club-Dye Course and took second in the 15-team field at 292-282-574. The Quakers have placed second in four of the last five O’Briant-Jensen Memorial tournaments. Wittenberg University, ranked fourth in the latest Golfstat.com NCAA Division III Rankings, shot 290-293-583 and claimed third place. Eight-time tournament champion Methodist University placed fourth at 291-293-584.
After carding the tournament’s lowest round since 2011 Monday, Thrash followed with a round of 68 that enabled him to best the previous 36-hole mark of 135 set by Washington and Lee University’s Nathaniel James in 2007. Thrash, Golfstat.com’s third-ranked NCAA Division III player, earned his second medalist honor this fall behind a tournament-low 11 birdies. He made nine pars to start his round, but caught fire after the turn with four straight birdies on holes 10-13. A bogey five on the par-four 14th was his lone hole over par.
Thrash started the warm and sunny day with a one-stroke edge over teammate and defending NCAA Division III Player of the Year, senior Addison Lambeth. Lambeth, a Greensboro resident who won last year’s O’Briant-Jensen tourney, rallied to shoot 72 Tuesday after three bogeys on the first four holes of the back nine put him two-over for the day. He birdied 15 and 17 before his fifth and final bogey of the round on 18. Lambeth placed third at 67-72-139. The Hawks’ Stephen Shephard placed 11th with a 73-72-145 and Chad Ring was 17th at 71-76-147.
Guilford senior Ty Palmer shot the day’s low round, a four-under 67, which helped the Quakers post Tuesday’s low team score. Palmer made four of his six Tuesday birdies on the back nine and posted his best score of the season and his first 2015 tournament. Teammate Zachary Evens followed his career-low 68 with an even-par 71 Tuesday and shared third place with Lambeth at 139. Guilford’s Josh Hill and Harrison Frye both shot one-over 72 Tuesday, which contributed to the Quakers’ 12th-lowest team score in school history. Hill placed 22nd at 77-72-149, one stroke better than Frye (78-72-150) and Kendall Dunn (76-74-150) who shared 25th place.
Methodist’s Craig Decato fired a two-under 69, Tuesday’s third-lowest score, and shared fifth place with teammate Mason Stutler (69-73-142). The top-six individuals earned all-tournament recognition.
Freshman Kell Graham’s seventh-place 71-72-143 fueled Guilford’s B team to an 11th-place finish with a 307-321-328.
The O’Briant-Jensen has been played annually since 1978 at the course formerly known as the Cardinal. It was initially named for longtime Guilford golf supporters and Cardinal members Tom and Bettie O’Briant, but adopted its current title in 2010 after the passing of longtime Quakers’ golf and basketball coach Jack Jensen. The tourney typically attracts some of NCAA Division III’s top teams and 2016 is no exception. Five schools are ranked among the top 20 by Golfstat. Six competitors are ranked in the coaches’ poll.
Coach Justin Tereshko’s Quakers, ranked 16th in the Golfstat.com Rankings and eighth in the Bushnell Golfweek Division III Coaches’ Poll, return to action March 6-7, 2017, at the Callaway Gardens Invitational in Georgia.