DESTIN, Fla. – After a tight battle through most of the day Friday, Texas Tyler pulled away from Transylvania over the final handful of holes to capture the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship at the Sandestin Golf Resort.
The Pioneers led Texas Tyler by two strokes heading into the final round and were seeking the school’s first NCAA National Championship. Instead, Transy winds up as the national runners-up for the second consecutive year.
Texas Tyler had a final round of 289 while Transy came in at 298 to finish seven shots out of first. Texas Tyler had a total of 1167 compared to 1,174 for Transy with third-ranked Methodist third at 1,188. Emory was next at 1,191, followed by Claremont Mudd Scripps (1,194), Gustavus Adolphus, St. John’s, and La Verne.
“It was quite an experience for our team to go into the final round of a national championship with the lead,” said head coach Brian Lane. “I thought we battled them tough all day. We may have come up a little bit short, and we are disappointed for now, we can’t lose sight of how well we competed this week. To finish as national runner-up for two straight years is quite an accomplishment.”
Four of Transy’s top five golfers will return next year.
Individually, Transy junior Clay Hinton cared a final round 72 to place third behind Claremont Mudd Scripps’ Brad Shigezawa (283) and Texas Tyler’s Buddy Hallman (287). Hinton tied Emory’s Jonathan Chen at 289, four over par.
His 72, one over par on the Raven Course, was Transy’s best score of the day. Jantzen Latham had a 73 for a 294 and Ben Fister carded a 75 for a 292. Senior Stephen Montgomery’s final collegiate round was a 78, placing him at 305. Hunter Frazier had a second straight 80 for a 309.
Fister was 10th individually while Latham was in 16th place.
Transylvania has never won a team national championship in any sport. Both the men’s basketball and men’s soccer teams have advanced to the round of eight and last year’s men’s golf team was the national runner-up. In 1999, the women’s soccer team lost in the finals of the NAIA National Championship.
The field was cut to the top 15 teams for the final 36 holes. Transy, ranked No. 11 nationally heading into the event, finished second to Oglethorpe in last year’s championship. The Championship initially featured 41 teams and 210 participants overall. Of the nation’s top 25 teams, 19 were in the field. The Pioneers are in the NCAA field for the seventh year in a row.