La VERNE, Calif. – Josh Hill's par putt on the 18th hole gave the Guilford College junior medalist honors by a stroke and helped his Quakers to an eight-shot win in the 16-team West Cup Tuesday at the Sierra La Verne Country Club. Hill finished with an even-par 71 and shot 71-74-71-216 to win the 85-man tourney by a stroke.
The Quakers, who led the 54-hole event after each round, overcame a third-round deficit to the University of La Verne, the tournament host and runner-up. The victory marked Guilford's fourth win of the season. Guilford is the first East Coast team to win the event, which annually showcases some of NCAA Division III's top West Region teams, on the par-71, 6,403-yard layout in the foothills of southern California's San Gabriel Mountains.
Hill entered the tournament's 54th hole in the final group and trailing playing partner Slater Sivage of California Lutheran University by one stroke. Hill, who made the turn at two-over par for the round, eagled the par-four 14th to get within one shot of Sivage. Sivage made a double-bogey six on the final hole while Hill drained a par putt and for his second college medalist honor.
Guilford played the first nine holes five over as a team, which enabled the host Leopards to pull even after starting the day two strokes behind the Quakers. Sparked by Hill's two-under on the back nine, Guilford played the final nine holes two over as a team for a final-round 291, the tournament's low score. La Verne played the last nine holes at 10 over and finished with a final-round 297. The Quakers shot 299-301-291-891 over 54 holes, eight strokes better than La Verne (301-301-297-899) and 16 shots ahead of third-place California Lutheran (308-296-303-907). Trinity University (916) edged Pacific Lutheran University (918) for fifth place.
The Quakers, ranked ninth in the latest Golfstat.com NCAA Division III Head-to-Head Ratings, had three individuals finish among the top 12 and four in the top 22. James Mishoe also carded a 71 Tuesday and placed fourth at 76-72-71-219. Zach Evens came home 12th at 75-77-74-226, five shots ahead of senior teammate Harrison Frye, who shot 77-78-76-231 to finish in a share of 22nd place. Rookie Louis Lambert saved his best round of the tournament for Tuesday and counted with a 75, which gave him an 86-81-85-242 that shared 58th place.
University of Redlands Cade Lawson shot a two-under 69 Tuesday and moved into a share of second place with Sivage at 217. Mishoe and La Verne's Pitiluk Phanomchai (220) closed out the top-five individuals.
Coach Justin Tereshko's Quakers return home to host the second annual NCAA Division III Match-Play Tournament April 6-8 at Grandover Resort, site of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships May 15-18.