ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Sophomore Evan Cox fought through a tough final round, battling two other competitors in a playoff to earn the NCAA Division III National Championship on Friday.
Cox was in ninth place, four shots off the lead following the opening round. Starting on the back nine, he posted bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17. Cox would card two birdies on his second nine but finished with bogey to close the day at 1-over 72. He moved up to second place and was one shot off the lead after shooting even par on a day that saw him post five birdies and five bogeys.
Cox took a share of the lead after the third round. He double-bogeyed two holes but collected three birdies on the day. He took the outright lead early in the final round but Huntingdon's Addison Lambeth would catch him on the back nine.
Cox again gained the outright lead but a bogey on No. 18 put him back in a tie Lambeth. Meanwhile, Alex Wrenn from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps birdied three-straight holes to force a three-way playoff.
Cox faced off with Lambeth and the red-hot Wrenn on the eighth hole to determine a national champion. Cox claimed the title after a beautiful approach shot set him up for a birdie on the first playoff hole.
The win was Cox's fourth of the season and second straight.
Cox also earned PING First Team All-American accolades for his performance.
Division III PING First Team All-Americans
Jackson Collier, Methodist
Evan Cox, Virginia Wesleyan
Mats Heien, Mary Hardin-Baylor
Addison Lambeth, Huntingdon
Logan Lanier, LaGrange
Joey Mayo, Rhodes
Pete Sienko, St. Thomas (MN)
Mason Stutler, Methodist
Alex Wrenn, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps