(Portions of this story courtesy of the Oglethorpe University website)
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - For the third straight day of the 2012 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship, Oglethorpe University posted the round of the day - on the course it was playing - and extended its tournament lead to 16 strokes. Complete Leaderboard
The Stormy Petrels, who won their first national title in 2009, have posted a team total of 867 (+3) through three rounds to keep second place Methodist University (883, +19) at arm's length. Oglethorpe carded a total of 292 on Wednesday to best the Monarchs for the low round by two shots. Meanwhile, nine different squads are within nine strokes of one another for third place heading into tomorrow's final round.
Individually, Oglethorpe freshman Anthony Maccaglia continues to play beyond his years, this time matching his own low round of the tournament by firing a 4-under 68 on El Campeon today. Only one other player in the field shot a sub-70 round on Thursday, and that belonged to Methodist's Mike Duncan who used 7 birdies in his round to card a 69 and vault from a tie for 38th into a tie for sixth heading into tomorrow.
Hayden Jones, Oglethorpe's sophomore from nearby Orlando, continued his steady, stellar play, carding a 72 on Thursday to remain in second place overall at -2 for the Championship, six shots behind teammate Maccaglia. Previous medalist and last year's runner-up Tain Lee of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps showed why he is a three-time All-America by posting a third round 71 to sit alone in third place a 1-under for the week.
Tomorrow's final round will get underway at 7:40 a.m. with the lead groups hitting the tee box at just after 9 a.m. Complete results and final round tee times are attached.
Notes and Quotes from around the Championship
One way to win an individual title is by minimizing one's mistakes. Another would be to bounce back from a mistake with a birdie to cover it up. Oglethorpe freshman Anthony Maccaglia has done both this week en route to leading the tournament by 6 strokes. "My bounce-back scoring has been great this week," he conceded. Indeed it has. Maccaglia has only carded 6 bogeys through 54 holes and he has responded to all but one by birdying the next hole.
Sometimes the end of a collegiate career will sneak up on you, as was the case with former medalist and three-time All-America Tain Lee of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Asked about his final collegiate round tomorrow, Lee responded, "I never thought about it until you just said that. It's been a great four years and I have definitely accomplished more than I ever expected to coming into college." The world of Division III golf will certainly miss a player of his caliber that is only rivaled by his kindness.
Mike Duncan of Methodist University made El Campeon his personal playground on Thursday, holing out 7 birdies on his way to a 3-under 69 on the day. His secret? "I never really got mad," he said. I made a couple of sloppy bogeys on 11 and 12 but never got mad and just kept rolling my putts. That was probably the best I've putted all year."
Lastly, from the "Tale of Two Rounds" file comes the story of Wittenburg's Craig Osterbrock. After enduring a painstaking 87 on El Campeon on Tuesday, Osterbrock returned to the scene of the crime on Thursday and flipped the script, posting a 1-under 71. How'd he execute the stark turnaround? "The big difference between today and Tuesday was that I kept the ball in play off the tee. I was really disappointed after the first day but have been determined since then to contribute to the team. It feels great…to get back at that course a little bit today."