GREENSBORO, N.C. – Methodist University held off Carnegie Mellon University to win its record ninth O’Briant Jensen Memorial men’s golf tournament Tuesday. The Monarchs shot their second straight round of 290 to outdistance the Tartans and the rest of the 20-team field by one stroke, 580-581.
Huntingdon College’s Mark Connelly became his school’s third straight O’Briant-Jensen medalist when he drained his par putt on the 18th hole of the par-71, 6,822-yard Sedgefield Country Club-Dye Course. The putt gave Connelly an even-par 71 Tuesday and clinched a one-shot victory over Greensboro College’s Grant Powell. Connelly shot three-under 68-71-139, the fourth-lowest winning score in tournament history. Powell shot 70-70-140 for runner-up honors.
The pair headlined the all-tournament team, which consisted of the 36-hole event’s top-five individuals (including ties).
Connelly helped Huntingdon, the top-ranked team in this week’s Bushnell Golfweek Division III Coaches’ Poll, to third place with a 36-hole score of 292-291-583. Tournament host Guilford College placed fourth (296-292-588), one stroke better than Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC)-rival Washington and Lee University, which posted Tuesday’s third-lowest total (286) to place fifth. Greensboro, which like Carnegie Mellon had a tournament-best 283 Tuesday, placed sixth at 308-283-591.
Methodist won its first O’Briant Jensen since 2014 by placing four students among the top-18 overall finishers. Jared Chinn and Larkin Gross both shot even-par 71 Tuesday to lead the fifth-ranked Monarchs. Chinn took third at 72-71-143, two strokes ahead of Gross (74-71-145), who was part of an eight-way tie for fourth place. Chris Drysdale’s second straight 73 ranked him 12th in the field, two shots ahead of teammate Henry Angier (73-75-148), who provided Methodist’s fourth score Tuesday.
Carnegie Mellon’s Patrick Tan fired a tournament-low 67 (-4) Tuesday, which paced the Tartans and vaulted him into a share of eighth place at 78-67-145. Teammate Jason Li contributed a one-under 70 Tuesday and Austin Lin rebounded to shoot 72 after a first-round 80. Nikhil Mohan carded a 74 and shared 13th place among individuals with Li at 147.
Guilford’s Louis Lambert enjoyed a successful college debut as he grabbed a share of fourth place among individuals. The rookie showed little sign of the early season injury that sidelined him until the Quakers’ final fall competition. He played the track’s three par-five holes at a tourney-best four-under and shot 76-69-145 (+3). Classmate Jack Lee and senior Harrison Frye both turned in 73 Tuesday. Zach Evens fashioned the Quakers’ fourth score (77), which landed him in a 21st-place tie at 72-77-149. Lee shared 13th place at 74-73-147.
Guilford also fielded a ‘B’ team, which shot 308-311-619 and finished 13th. Kell Graham paced the side with a 74-73-147 (T13), followed by Bradley Calloway’s 75-76-151 (T31). Terence Schmutz provided an 80 Tuesday and ended in a share of 78th place at 79-80-159. Addison Manring (80-82-162) and Parker Hughes (90-89-179) rounded out Guilford’s contestants.
The O’Briant-Jensen dates to 1978 and is named for Guilford Athletics Hall of Famer Tom O’Briant ’49, his wife, Bettie, and legendary Quakers’ golf coach Jack Jensen. This year’s field featured seven top-25 teams according to the Golfweek Poll, and six of the top-17 squads in the current Golfstat.com Relative Rankings.
Coach Justin Tereshko’s Quakers, ranked ninth by Golfweek and 17th by Golfstat.com, return to the links March 5-6 at the Schreiner Spring Shootout in Kerrville, Texas.