They’ll remember the 14th hole at the par-72 Champion Trace course unkindly for a long, long time to come.
It was there, in the fourth and final round of the NCAA Division III Golf Championships at Keene Trace Golf Club in Kentucky, that Guilford College’s hopes for a third national championship evaporated this afternoon.
James Mishoe, Josh Hill and Addison Manring all finished in the top 10 individually, and Louis Lambert bounced back with a solid round, but Guilford settled for third place, seven shots off the lead.
“We grinded all day,” Guilford’s first-year coach, Adam Crawford, said. “I’m proud of the way my guys competed. They fought to the very end, but, ultimately, fell just a little bit short. I couldn’t ask anything more of them.”
Illinois Wesleyan won the title, its four scorers combining to shot 6-over par in the final round. Huntingdon finished second, three shots behind, after starting the day tied for first.
“The guys played solid,” Crawford said. “We gave ourselves a chance, but the turning point was on the 14th hole. It’s a par-5 on the back nine, and the tee was moved up. We got our tee shots in play, but if you look at the two teams in front of us, well, that hole tells the story.”
All four of Illinois Wesleyan’s scorers birdied the 14th. Huntingdon’s players came away with two birdies and two eagles.
Guilford’s Manring birdied the hole. Everyone else made pars.
“They took advantage of that hole and separated themselves from us,” Crawford said. “But even after that, the guys fought all the way in. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for from your players.”
ODAC player of the year Mishoe, a junior transfer from UNCG, closed with a 1-over 73 and finished fifth in the individual standings. Mishoe, the No. 1 ranked D-III player in the nation, was 4-over in the tournament, seven shots behind winner Sam Goldenring of Williams College.
Hill, a senior from Colorado, finished tied for sixth. Manring, a sophomore from Stoneville who won the ODAC Tournament as a freshman, finished tied for ninth.
This was Guilford’s 24th appearance in the NCAA Championships in the last 28 years, and the Quakers’ third consecutive top-five finish. The program won national titles in 2002 and 2005.