Guilford Two Strokes Off the Lead at NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships

Kell Graham '20 (Emily Zegel '18 photo)
Kell Graham '20 (Emily Zegel '18 photo)

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. – Guilford College shot 296 Thursday and moved into within two strokes of the lead with one round to play at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships at the Mission Inn Resort and Club. The Quakers (889) posted the day's fourth-lowest score and sit in second place behind Wittenberg University, which leads with a 23-over-par total of 887. Top-ranked Huntingdon College (890), which led for 36 holes, shot 306 Thursday and slipped to third place, three strokes back.

Second-ranked University of Texas at Tyler (891) carded Thursday's best score, a two-over 290, and moved into a share of fourth-place with Greensboro College (891). The Pride posted its best score Thursday (294) and gained on the leaders. Just four strokes separate the top-five teams entering Friday's final round on the par-72, 6,844-yard El Campeon Course.

Warm and sunny skies continued to favor the 18 teams and six individuals that survived Wednesday's cut from 42 teams. With temperatures rising into the low-90s, Texas-Tyler's Sam Hill heated up as well and shot the third round's low score, a two-under 70 that vaulted him atop the 96-man leader board. He is one-over (217) after 54 holes, a score matched by Franklin & Marshall College's Brad Lankler. Huntingdon senior Addison Lambent (Browns Summit, N.C./Wesleyan (Appalachian State)), the nation's top-ranked Division III golfer, lost his two-shot lead after 36 holes after Thursday's six-over 78, which dropped him into a share of sixth place. Guilford sophomore Josh Hill is part of a logjam in eighth place at 220, three strokes behind the leaders.

The Quakers showed off their depth Thursday as they gained ground despite Hill's highest round (77) in over a month. Rookie Kell Graham posted Guilford's low score with a one-over 73 that elevated him to 17th among individuals at six-over 222 for the tournament. Classmate Zachary Evens birdied the par-four 18th hole to complete a round of 74, a score matched Thursday by junior Harrison Frye. Senior Ty Palmer provided Guilford's fourth score Thursday with a 75. He was one-over through 17 holes, but double bogeyed the 18th hole. Evens, Frye and Palmer each made two birdies Thursday and all rank among the top-46 individuals.

The Quakers are grouped with Huntingdon and Wittenberg for Friday's fourth and final round. The teams start from El Campion's first tee at 9:39 a.m. Live scoring and video is available at NCAA.com or Golfstat.com.

Guilford is ranked 17th in the latest Bushnell/Golfweek Division III Coaches' Poll and19th in the current Golfstat.com NCAA Division III Relative Rankings. The Quakers are playing in the championships for the 22nd time in 26 years of Division III membership. Guilford won the event in 2002 and in 2005, when Mission Inn Resort and Club also hosted the tournament.