Guilford Splits on First Day of Division III Match Play Invitational

Zach Evens '20 (Katy Holt '19 photo)
Zach Evens '20 (Katy Holt '19 photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Berry College and Washington and Lee University both advanced to Monday's final of the Division III Match Play Invitational at the Grandover Resort Sunday. The teams will square off at 9:00 a.m. on Grandover's West Course for the title in the inaugural event hosted by Guilford College.

The tournament features eight teams competing in three matches over two days at Grandover, site of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships. The teams, seven of whom are ranked among the top 30 in this week's Golfstat.com Division III Relative Rankings, found sunny and breezy conditions with light winds at the par 72, 6,690-yard West Course layout.

Cole Ackerman, Eddy Black and Ryan Elmore notched wins in the 19th-ranked Vikings' 3.5-1.5 upset of top-seeded Rhodes, ranked eighth by Golfstat. Chris Harris downed Berry's Joel Maire, 2 and 1, for one Lynx point. Berry's Press Clark halved his match with Corrie Kuehn when he made a three on 18 and Kuehn shot a five on the same hole. Berry claimed a 4-1 win over Christopher Newport University in its first match.

Washington and Lee, seeded second in the field and ranked 14th by Golfstat.com, advanced to the finals with a 4-1 win over seventh-seeded Centre College and a 3-2 triumph over Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC)-rival Hampden-Sydney College, the number-six seed. The Generals' Brian Peccie and the Tigers' Alex Simmons were all square after 17 holes, but Peccie prevailed with a four on 18, one shot better than Simmons.

Hampden-Sydney upended the host Quakers, who were seeded third in the field and ranked 18th by Golfstat. Three of the matches came down to the final hole and the Tigers claimed two of them. Aaron Persily won the last two holes against Kendall Dunn for a 1-up victory. Guilford's Kell Graham won the 17th hole against Jamie Agnew to get within one, but both players made four on the final hole to give Agnew the point.

Guilford bounced back for a 3.5-1.5 win over Centre in one consolation match. The Quakers' Josh Hill won his second match of the day, 3 and 2, over the Colonels' Jake Mattingly, but the remaining four matches came down to the final hole. Guilford's Zach Evens his second match of the day, 2-up, over C McCarthy, and Graham took a 1-up win over Centre's Dakota Jarman. Andrew McKinney took a 1-up decision from Guilford's Harrison Frye. Guilford's Dunn battled back from an early two-hole deficit to take a one-hole lead over Carson Riley, but Riley's four beat Dunn's five on 18, splitting the point.

Guilford plays Christopher Newport in the fifth-place match Monday at 8:00 a.m. The title match between Berry and Washington and Lee also starts Monday at 8:00. Rhodes and Hampden-Sydney play for third place, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Otterbein and Centre play for seventh place at 9:00.