May 15, 2019
Nicholasville, KY- Freshman Frankie Schmitt helped lead the 16th ranked NC Wesleyan Golf Team to make the championship cut after the first two rounds of the NCAA Div. III National Tournament at Keene Trace Golf Club in the foothills of Central Kentucky on Wednesday.
The Bishops, who qualified for the tournament as an at-large selection after coming in third at the USA South Conference meet, sat in 22nd place after a first round 312 on Tuesday afternoon. NC Wesleyan then improved by 8 strokes to shoot a 304 as a team (10th-best round of the day on the more difficult course) in Wednesday morning's second round and made the cut by finishing in 15th place. It is the first made cut at the national championship in school history for the Battling Bishops.
Wesleyan has totaled 95 pars and 20 birdies over the first two rounds.
The Bishops needed to climb to within the top 18 to advance to the final two rounds of the national tournament and they did just that with their total score of 616 (+40 over par). They are just 15 strokes off the top 10 and just 18 behind conference rival Methodist for 5th place.
They are also ahead of notable teams such as nearby ODAC champion and 10th ranked Washington & Lee (Va.), who finished in 19th with a 622 (+46) and top-ranked Emory (Ga.) who finished in 23rd at 48-over par.
Schmitt shot rounds of 75 and 73 for a 4-over par 148 and is in a tie for 20th place to lead the Bishops. Senior All-South Region golfer Mariano Silvestri is then 2nd on the team and in a tie for 39th overall after rounds of 74 and 77 for score of 7-over 151. Fellow All-South Region Senior Grady Anderson then placed third on the team with rounds of 78 and 76 for a 10-over 154 and is tied for 66th place out of 215 golfers.
Junior Luke Thornton then improved by 7 shots to shoot a 6-over 78 in round two after his first round 85 to finish at 19-over 163 (T-152nd) while fellow junior Dustin Wood shot rounds of 85 and 86 for a 27-over 171.
This article will be updated throughout the day as the field gets shortened to the top 18 teams and 6 individuals not on the top teams.
The Bishops will tee off Thursday morning in a time to be announced tonight.