HARRISBURG, Pa. – A McDaniel golfer fired the low round each day. A McDaniel golfer held the individual lead after 18 holes. After 36 holes. And, most importantly, after 54 holes. That work translated into the program's seventh Centennial Conference (CC) championship.
McDaniel turned in a round of 301 in ideal scoring conditions during Friday's first round at Blue Ridge Country Club to match the conference record for low team score.
The Green Terror followed that up with a round of 303 on Saturday to post a score of 604 through 36 holes – the lowest such total in championship history.
When conditions deteriorated some on Sunday, McDaniel used an 11-stroke lead to its advantage, holding on with a score of 314 to post a three-round score of 918 – one shy of its 2008 tournament record. The Green Terror defeated second-place Franklin & Marshall by a total of nine shots to earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championship. The 72-hole national championship will be at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla., on May 14-17.
Individually, sophomore James Lillie (Garret Park, Md./Walter Johnson) became the program's eighth individual champion with an individual scoring record of 219, breaking the nine-year-old mark of 220 by a shot.
Among Lillie's weekend was an single-round tournament record score of 68 on Saturday. He also posted a score of 75 on Friday and 76 on Sunday to finish eight shots clear of the field. With Lillie's individual championship comes CC Player of the Year honors.
Alex Kane (Danvers, Mass./Masconomet Regional) joined Lillie on the all-conference team, finishing tied for third. The freshman slept on the 18-hole lead after firing a one-over par 73. He added back-to-back rounds of 78 to finish with a score of 229.
Alex Matos (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side) finished 13th overall with a score of 236. He posted a round of 75 over the first 18 holes. On Saturday, he carded a score of 80 before posting a round of 81 on Sunday.
Cody Mewhirter (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) finished one shot behind his teammate, tied for 20th overall. Mewhirter shot a 78 on Friday before registering a round of 80 on Saturday. He concluded the championship with a round of 79.
Steven Tanen (Laurel Hallow, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) rounded out the Green Terror competitors with a score of 243 to finish 26th. His best day was Saturday when he posted a score of 77. He added a round of 81 on Friday and scored an 85 in the final round.
Team Scores: 1. McDaniel 918 (301-303-314), 2. Franklin & Marshall 927 (306-309-312), 3. Dickinson 933 (316-310-307), 4. Swarthmore 942 (314-311-317), 5. Gettysburg 949 (317-314-318), 6. Muhlenberg 971 (318-310-343), 7. Ursinus 995 (344-338-313).
McDaniel Results: 1. James Lillie 918 (301-303-314), 3T. Alex Kane 229 (73-78-78), 13T. Alex Matos 236 (75-80-81), 20T. Cody Mewhirter 237 (78-80-79), 26T. Steven Tanen 243 (81-77-85).