NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. – Guilford College moved within two shots of the lead after 54 holes at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships. The sixth-ranked Quakers shot Thursday's second-best score, a 12-over-par 300, on the par-72, 7,190-yard Champions Trace Course at the Keene Trace Golf Club. Guilford enters Friday's fourth and final round with a 54-hole total of 882, two shy of co-leaders Illinois Wesleyan University and Huntingdon College.
Illinois Wesleyan, ranked third in the Golfstat.com Division III Top 25 Poll, maintained a share of the lead for the third straight day, despite carding its highest round of the tournament, a 14-over 302. The second-ranked Hawks turned in Thursday's low score, a two-over 290 that moved them up three spots into a first-place tie with Illinois Wesleyan with 880 strokes.
The top-three teams distanced themselves from the rest of the 42-team field Thursday. Fourth-place Wittenberg University shot 308 Thursday and slipped a spot into fourth place at 895, 15 shots off the lead and 13 shots behind Guilford. Defending Division III champion Methodist University holds fifth place with a three-round 899.
Williams College senior Sam Goldenring continued his mastery of the Champion Trace Course with a two-under 70, Thursday's best individual score by two shots. Goldenring, who shot 69 on Champion Trace in Tuesday's first round, is three-under par (213) after 54 holes. He holds a two-shot lead over Huntingdon's Drew Mathers (70-73-72-215) and a four-shot margin over 2017 NCAA Tournament medalist Josh Gibson of Hope College (72-71-73-215).
Guilford's Addison Manring shot 72 Thursday and grabbed a share of fourth place among individuals at 73-72-72-216. He made his third birdie Thursday on the 18th hole and leads the Quakers' contingent. Manring ranks third in the tournament with 37 pars after 54 holes and has played the week's par-three holes at one-under, tops in the field.
Guilford has a tournament-best three students among the top-eight individuals. Senior Josh Hill carded a three-over 75 Thursday at shares sixth place with Illinois Wesleyan's Ben Johnson at 218 (+2). The Quakers' James Mishoe, Division III's top-rated golfer according to Golfstat.com, shot his second-straight 72 and climbed six spots into a share of eighth place at 219 (+3). He made the turn at one-over and got down to one-under with birdies at 14 and 17, but gave a stroke back with a bogey four on 18.
The Quakers' Louis Lambert provided his team's fourth score with an 81. The sophomore bogeyed seven of the first nine holes and made the turn at six-over, but settled to shoot three-over on the back nine. He holds a share of 63rd place among individuals at 233. Classmate Jack Lee, who, like Lambert is making his NCAA Tournament debut, struggled to an 83 Thursday. He sits in 75th place at 236 for the tournament.
Coach Adam Crawford's Quakers tee off Friday in a group with Illinois Wesleyan and Wittenberg starting at 9:20 a.m. (EDT) on the Champion Trace Course, one of two used at this week's tournament.
Guilford won the Division III Championships in 2002 and 2005 and has three second-place finishes in the event, most recently in 2017.