Greensboro, N.C. - N.C. Wesleyan's golf team completed team play at the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship on Wednesday, tying for 24th overall and just missing the 18-team cutoff after two rounds of play. Grady Anderson tied for 6th among the top individuals from non-advancing teams, but the Bishop junior fell by one stroke in a playoff on Thursday morning with a spot in the final two rounds on the line.
Team-wise, the Bishops opened play on Tuesday on the West Course of the heralded Grandover Resort in Greensboro. Wesleyan stayed within striking distance for most of the day, but the Bishops would eventually fall victim to a weather delay midway their round that cleared the course. NCWC was then forced to complete its opening round on Wednesday morning, prior to moving over the East Course for round two.
Competing in their first NCAA Championship, the 15th-ranked Bishops managed an opening-round score of 307, led by sophomore Mariano Silvestri's even-par 72 and Anderson with a 3-over 75. The team sat in 20th place heading in to a pivotal round two -- less than five strokes off the 18-team cutoff pace.
Unfortunately, the Bishops were not able to make up any ground on the longer East Course, turning in a team score of 310 to tie for 24th-place among 42 teams competing. Inclement weather again played a factor as play was suspended for a second time mid-round. Anderson's 73 paced NCWC individually and left him with a two-round total of 148 (+4) to tie for 39th-place among 217 competitors. Playing the final round of his collegiate career, senior David White carded a 78 while sophomore Dustin Wood added a 79. Luke Thornton recorded a second-straight 80 to cap Wesleyan's scorers.
Anderson looked to extend his individual season when he faced off against Evan Yue (Goucher), Ben VanScoyk (Calvin), and Ryan Muthiora (Kenyon) on Thursday morning awith the final individual berth on the line. The four played the 18th hole on the West Course and all made par on Wednesday evening prior to the playoff being suspended due to darkness. Thursday's continuation saw Anderson last three holes before VanScoyk secured the final bid with a birdie to beat out his par. Despite missing the cut, the Bishops are proud to have completed a 2017-2018 season that saw the team make history with their highest-ever national ranking, their first USA South Championship in 45 years, and their first NCAA berth.
Elsewhere on the leaderboard, Guilford College sits in first place with team rounds of 283 and 295, with Washington & Lee and Methodist sitting just three strokes off the pace. Individually, Otterbien's Austin Wells leads the pack at 5-under (71-68).
To continue to follow the 2018 NCAA Division III Golf Championship, please visit http://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=participants&tid=14588.