The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men's golf team held its ground on the third day of the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Golf National Championships Thursday in Florida. The Cru is in seventh place following 54 holes and sits 20 shots off the lead going into the final day.
UMHB posted a 305 team total on Thursday and now holds sole possession of seventh place with a 304-298-305=907 three-day score. Wittenberg University moved into the team lead with a 298-290-299=887, two shots ahead of Guilford's second place total of 300-293-296=889. First and second round leader Huntingdon College dropped to third place at 293-291-306=890 and U.T. Tyler (296-305-290) and Greensboro College (300-297-294) are tied for fourth place with 891's. Hope College jumped into sixth place, four shots ahead of the Cru with a 306-299-298=903. Methodist University is one shot behind UMHB with a 908 and Rhodes College and Illinois Wesleyan are tied for ninth place, two shots behind the Cru with 909's. There are 18 teams and six individuals competing in the tournament after the field was cut from 42 teams and six individuals after Wednesday's second round.
"Being a significant distance from the leaders entering the final round wasn't where we hoped to be," Cru Head Coach Jordan Cox said. "That said, the fight our guys showed the final nine today was something exceptional. There is no quit in them. We will take that same spirit, which has helped us to so many successes this year, into tomorrow's final round. These guys aren't finished."
UMHB posted five rounds in the 70's on Thursday, led by Jarrod Brown's 75. Brown birdied two of his final five holes to close at three-over par. Mats Heien added a 76, Mason Wyatt and Kyle Revis posted 77's and Alden Fortner fired a 78. Brown is the low overall individual for the Cru with a 72-76-75=223 to tie for 22nd place. Heien is one shot back, in a tie for 25th place with a 75-73-76=224. Wyatt is tied for 50th with a 76-77-77=230, and Fortner (88-72-78) and Revis (81-80-77) are tied for 79th place with 238 totals. U.T. Tyler's Sam Hill and Franklin and Marshall's Brad Lankler share the individual lead with 217's. Three other individuals are just one stroke behind that duo.
"It felt good to go out there and hit the ball better," Revis said after posting his lowest round of the tournament. "We just need to go out there and play the game that got us here. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves the first few days."
"I struggled early and that was frustrating because we wanted to get off to a good start," Wyatt said after posting a third consecutive round in the 70's. "I think finishing the way we did helps and maybe we can go out and get some momentum going early tomorrow."
The third round was played on the par-72, 6,844-yard El Campeon Course at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida. Friday's final round will be played on that same course after the first two rounds were conducted on both El Campeon and the par-72, 6,888-yard Las Colinas Course. The Cru will begin teeing off at 7:00 AM Central Time on hole #1 and will be paired with Methodist University and Rhodes College.
Teams also participated in the "Folds of Honor" program in Thursday's third round. Each player competed in the memory of a service member who was killed in action. There were also plaques recognizing fallen service members on each hole and American Flags in place of pin flags on four of the holes.