CMS men's golf team wins NCAA Division III championship
Freshman Alex Wrenn ties for second place individually
PENFIELD, N.Y. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's golf team won its first NCAA Division III National Championship and freshman Alex Wrenn (CMC) tied for second place individually on May 13 at Midvale Country Club.
CMS competed directly with the defending national champions Methodist in the final round pairings. Methodist was top-ranked all season in the Division III Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll by the Golf Coaches Association of America and was a clear favorite to win the 2016 title.
In rainy conditions and playing on the difficult Midvale course, the Stags did not record a birdie on the front nine, but under the pressure of needing to maintain a lead, CMS only got stronger as the round wore on. Early the final day of the four-day championship, St. Thomas (Minn.) came within five strokes of CMS but then started their second nine with six bogeys in the first two holes and ultimately finished in a tie for fifth, 13 strokes off the lead. Ultimately, CMS won by six strokes over second-place finisher, Huntingdon.
Wrenn recorded his first birdie in the round on the 10th hole and through 10, he was in a tie for first with Evan Cox from Virginia Wesleyan. After a few bogeys on the back nine, Wrenn dropped down the leaderboard but then finished the round with three birdies to move into a tie for first with Cox and Addison Lambeth from Huntingdon. In the playoff for the individual title, the three played the 535-yard par-5 and Cox came out on top with a birdie. Wrenn, who parred the hole, and Lambeth tied for second place.
Unranked CMS senior Kethan Reddy (CMC) led the field for the first two days of the championships and finished 12th, six strokes behind the leaders. Reddy ended his round with nine pars in the final 10 holes and shot 81.
Sophomore Matt Shuman (CMC) shot 76, matching his best score on the Midvale course from Day 3 of the championship. He had three birdies and was one-over on the back nine. Sophomore Jonathan Shaw (CMC) tied for 21st with a 79 in the final round, including a birdie on 16. Sophomore Johnny Brandt (CMC), who entered the championship ranked No. 85, finished 55th.
The Stags recorded the lowest score in the championship history on Tuesday with a two-over par 286 that put them in control with an 11-stroke first-round lead. From there, CMS posted a 299 on the second day and led by nine. St. Thomas (Minn.) was in second place on Tuesday but by Wednesday, Washington & Lee overtook the Tommies to chase the Stags. CMS came back to the pack on Day 3, shooting 303. Otterbein posted a 294, boosting them five spots on the leaderboard, but still trailing CMS by seven. In the rain on the fourth day, a 22-over 310 was good enough to hold onto the lead and secure the national championship.
Back in November, CMS head Coach Bim Jollymour said: "This is a special group of guys and I can tell this is going to be a special year."
By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director