GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College holds a three-stroke after 36 holes of the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships at the Grandover Resort and Spa. Otterbein University’s Austin Wells surged atop the individual leaderboard with a three-under-par 68 that opened a one-shot lead over the rest of the 217-man field.
Teams and individuals started the day by completing the first round, which was suspended by storms with 18 teams still on the course. The second round started via a shotgun start on two courses, believed to be a first in NCAA Championship competition. Despite a 90-minute weather delay late in the afternoon, the teams completed the second round.
The top-18 teams, plus six individuals not part of a top-18 team, will play the final 36 holes Thursday and Friday on Grandover’s East Course. A four-man playoff is needed to determine the sixth and final individual spot. Grady Anderson (North Carolina Wesleyan College), Evan Yue (Goucher College), Ryan Muthiora (Kenyon College), and Ben VanScoyk (Calvin College) each scored par on the first playoff hole Wednesday before darkness set it. The playoff continues Thursday morning.
Guilford shot 295 Wednesday on the par-72, 7,150-yard East Course, which puts the tournament co-host at two-over par (578) at the halfway point. Washington and Lee shot 289 on the West Course and Methodist fired a 287 on the par-72, 6,780-yard East Course Tuesday to keep the Quakers in their sights. Both teams are three strokes behind Guilford at five-over par (581). First-round co-leader Emory University (582) and the University of Texas-Tyler (583) round out the top-five teams.
Texas-Tyler’s Tyler Uhlig gave his team a lift with the event’s first hole-in-one on the 140-yard par-three 15th hole on the West Course.
Despite bad weather and playing the longer and statistically more challenging East Course, Otterbein’s Wells had a field day Wednesday. He made six birdies in a round of 68 that dropped him to four-under par (140) after 36 holes. Wittenberg University’s Ryan Mallett played his way into contention Wednesday with a four-under 68 on the West Course. Washington and Lee sophomore Brian Peccie had four birdies en route to a three-under 69 on the East Course. Both Mallett and Peccie are one stroke behind Wells at 141.
James Mishoe had the Quakers’ low round Wednesday, a one-under 71. Teammate Kell Graham posted his second consistent score, a two-over 74 that puts him at even-par 144 after 36 holes, good for a share of 12th place. Josh Hill and Zachary Evens hold a share of 23rd among individuals at 146. Guilford Addison Manring counted for the second straight day and is tied with Mishoe in a share of 47th place at 149.
Guilford and the Greensboro Sports Commission have teamed up to co-host the Division III Men’s Golf Championships at Grandover four times in the past eight years, most recently in 2015. Wittenberg is the defending national champion. Guilford won the Division III crown in 2002 and 2005.
To follow the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships online, visit NCAA.com. For Jim Schlosser’s NCAA Tournament Notebook, visit www.guilfordquakers.com. For daily video interviews, visit Guilford’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/GuilfordAthletics.