For the 12th time in program history and the second time in four years, the Methodist University men’s golf team is the NCAA Division III National Champion.
The 12 national championships ties Cal State Stanislaus, which is now a Div. II program, for the most in Div. III history. Three of those championships have come since 2010, while no other school has won more than once in that span.
The Monarchs shot a 296 (+7) to finish with a score of 1,159 (294-287-282), which was 11 strokes better than second place Washington & Lee (292-289-292-297–1,170). Texas-Tyler (1,171), Concordia (1,173) and Guilford (1,174), who served as the host, rounded out the top five.
MU has now won the National Championship each of the last two times the event was played at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 2015, the Monarchs erased a five-stroke deficit on the final day and walked away with a three-stroke win. This time, MU trailed by three strokes after the second round and used a third round of 282 (-6) to vault into first place by 10 strokes.
This is the ninth time the Monarchs have won a national championship by 10 strokes or more and this marks the largest margin of victory at the NCAA Championships since 2012 when Oglethorpe won by 20 strokes over second place Transylvania.
Brian Peccie of Washington & Lee earned medalist honors after a three-hole playoff with Logan Young of Concordia. Peccie and Young both shot a three-under 285 for the tournament before heading to the playoff.
Dan Shepherd shot a one-over 73 to finish the week at a two-under 286 (72-72-69). He finished in a tie for third, just one stroke behind Logan Young of Concordia and Brian Peccie of Washington & Lee who went to a playoff. In the fourth round, Shepherd birdied No. 3 before bogeying two of the last three holes on the front nine and made the turn at one over (37). He birdied No. 11 and No. 12 to go to one-under for the day and parred the next two holes. He dropped a stroke on No. 15 and No. 17 before ending the day with par and shoot even on the back nine.
Larkin Gross finished in a tie for 12th (73-72-71-75–291). He parred the first three holes of the day and dropped a stroke on each of the next two. He put together three more pars and bogeyed No. 9 going out at 39 (+3). Gross sunk seven pars to go with a bogey and a birdie on 18 to finish the back nine at even par (36).
Jared Chinn shot the best round of the day for the Monarchs with a one-under 71 to finish in a tie for 29th (74-80-70-71–295). Chinn was one-under heading into the fifth hole, but a double bogey set him back to one-over. He birdied No. 8 but dropped a stroke on No. 9 to make the turn at 37 (+1). After parring 10, he birdied each of the next three holes to go to two-under. He parred four of the last five holes with one bogey on No. 16 to go in at 34 (-2).
Aaron Purviance, who was part of the 2015 National Championship squad, finished in 34th place (75-70-72-79–296), which was one stroke back from Chinn. He totaled three birdies on the day. Chris Drysdale shot a five-over 77 to finish in a tie for 65th (76-73-78-77–304). He made the turn at one under after picking up two birdies, but shot a six-over (42) on the back nine to finish at +5.