GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro College won the Division III men’s golf championship in 2000 and have posted 13 different top five finishes. Through 54 holes of the Division III Men’s Golf Championships at the Grandover Resort, the home-standing Pride have a second national championship on their minds.
After shooting an 297 (+11) on Thursday, Greensboro stands at 13-over par and leads 2010 champion Methodist by three strokes. Brock Elder has led the Greensboro charge, turning in rounds of 71-73-74 for a 2-over total, good for 11th in the individual race. Kirk Mitchell (+4) and Ben Nihart (+5) are also among the Top 20.
St. John’s saw a two-round lead evaporate with an 306 (+18) on Thursday. Mark Giorgi, who tied for 13th at the 2010 Championships, had three triple bogeys on the front nine and staggered to an 11-over 83. The Johnnies had three players shoot 80 or above in the third round.
Methodist followed up a 286 (-2) on Wednesday with a 295 (+7) on Thursday to stand at 16-over entering the final round. Mike Duncan, 13-over through 36 holes, shot 1-over 73 along with teammate Robby Bruns on Thursday. Mike Wesko, who shot 4-under 68 on Wednesday, shot 75 in the third round.
Texas Lutheran, at 18-over, starts the final round five shots behind the leader. Ryan Kiel shot his third straight sub-par round on Thursday and is eight shots behind Chris Morris of Centre College.
Illinois Wesleyan is tied with St. John’s in fourth, six shots back.
Morris tied a Division III record on Wednesday with a 7-under 65. He carded a 30 on the West Course’s front nine and bolted into the individual lead. His 8-birdie round tied the record held by Averett’s Janne Monno (2003) and Gustavus Adolphus’ Luke Benoit (2004).
At 12-under Morris, third at the 2010 D-III Championships, led 2010 medalist Tain Lee of Claremont Mudd Scripps by four shots through 36 holes.
Morris shot 71 in the third round with Lee turning in a 72 giving Morris a five-stroke advantage with one round remaining.
Redlands’ Jeremy Sanders shot a second straight 4-under 68 on Thursday and is alone in third behind Morris and Lee. LaGrande College’s Hudson Keener is tied with Kiel in fourth. Keener was seventh in 2010.
The field was cut to 15 after Wednesday’s second round. Three squads – LaVerne (Calif.), Millikin (Ill.) and Transylvania (Ky.) – each finished at 24-over-par with 2004 D-III champion Gustavus Adolphus at 25-over. Millikin and LaVerne won a 3-team playoff to remain in the tournament.
Like St. John’s, Oglethorpe also opened the week with a 286 (-2) but limped in at 16-over 304 on Wednesday. Thursday saw a disastrous 317 with three players in the 80s. Craig Stevenson, who shot 81 in the third round, was one of four players to break 70 in the first round, joining Morris (67), Lee (69) and Giorgi (69) with a 66.