Methodist on top of the leaderboard after Day 1 at the NCAA championship
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Methodist holds the lead after 18 holes at the NCAA Division III Championships at Grandover Resort.
The Monarchs shot 284 on the par-72, 6,710-yard West Course. Redlands in is second at 285, also on the West Course, while Illinois Wesleyan is tied for third at 292 with LaGrange. Spalding is in fifth at 293. Illinois Wesleyan played the par-72, 7,200-yard East Course, while LaGrange and Spalding each played the West. Teams that played the East on Tuesday will play Wednesday's second round on the West and vice versa before the field is cut entering the third round.
Jeff Wells led the Monarchs with a first-round 69 (-3) and is in a tie for fifth place. He opened with birdies on each of his first three holes and added an eagle on the par-5 sixth to get to five under par through six holes. After bogeys on seven and nine he finished his front nine in 33 (-3). On the back, he parred the first seven holes before trading birdie and bogey on 17 and 18 to finish at 69.
In a tie for 10th place is Aaron Purviance, who shot 71 (-1) on the day. He was one over par through his first nine holes, but got to red figures with birdies on 12 and 17 coming in.
Mason Stutler, who earlier in the day was named one of the five finalists for the Jack Nicklaus Award, shot 72 (E) and is in a tie for 15th. Two birdies and a bogey on the front put him at one-under 35 going out and he remained there until a costly triple on the par-4 13th. Righting himself with back-to-back pars, he closed out his round with birdies on 16 and 17 to get back to even par.
Jackson Collier also shot even par on the day, going out in 37 (+1) after bogeys on seven and eight, but birdies on 15 and 16 got him to one under on the day before a bogey on 18 closed out the round.
Finally, Charles Maness shot a 75 (+3) and is in a tie for 62nd. A tough front nine left him at three over par (39), but he played the back in even, including birdies on 10 and 13 to close out the round.
Kelby Scharmann of La Verne is the first-round leader. He shot 66 (-6) on the West Course, and LaGrange's Cory Howard is in second at 67 (-5), also played on the West Course. The lowest score of the day on the East Course came from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' Matt Shuman, who shot a 69 (-3).