Nicholasville, Ky. – The No. 2 Emory University Eagles set the standard at the 2018 NCAA Preview tournament, winning by 24 strokes over second-place No. 11 Wittenberg University as 18 teams completed the third and final round of play at the Keene Trace Golf Club's Champions course on Tuesday afternoon.
The Eagles, who held a firm 16-stroke lead over co-second place holders Wittenberg and No. 24 Carnegie Mellon University after Monday's 36-hole marathon, shot a two-over-par 300-277-289-866 to extend their distance from the pack as they completed their mastery over the 18-team field at Keene Trace. Emory was paced by a trio of top-shelf performers, led by Matt Organisak, who carded a 72-71-72-215 to lead his Emory teammates and finish second on the individual leaderboard at one-under-par.
Emory's Connor Yakubov and Eric Liu also turned in top-five caliber performances at the Preview, with each shooting an even-par 216; Yiu shot the best Tuesday round of his teammates with a one-under par 71, while Yakubov turned in a one-over-par 73 as both Eagles finished in a tie for third place on the individual leaderboard along with Wittenberg's Cameron Willis. Organisak, Yakubov, Liu and Willis each earned NCAA Preview All-Tournament Team honors.
The Eagles finished ahead of Wittenberg, which took second in the team standings with a 311-282-297-890 to finish at 26-over-par. The No. 5 Washington & Lee University Generals and No. 7 Illinois Wesleyan Titans captured a share of fourth place on the team leaderboard as each team turned in a three-round 892, two strokes back of Wittenberg. No. 3 Huntingdon College rounded out the top five, carding a 304-290-299-893 team score.
Brian Peccie of Washington & Lee completed a terrific week at Keene Trace by claiming medalist honors to finish atop the player leaderboard. The junior from Norfolk, Virginia carded a two-over-par 74 in Monday's blustery first round which featured the highest average scores of the three rounds, and followed with a five-under-par 67 in Monday afternoon's second round, and a two-under-par 70 in Tuesday's third round to finish with a five-under-par 211 total. Peccie's score placed him four strokes ahead of Emory's Organisak.
With the best weather of the tournament in the form of 85-degree weather and blue skies greeting 90 golfers on Tuesday, the lowest team scores were recorded by Emory (289, one-over-par), No. 4 Guilford College (289), and the host Transylvania University Pioneers (289). Guilford finished in a tie for sixth on the team leaderboard with a 311-294-289-894 while Transylvania climbed two spots on the final day of play to finish in 14th place with a 322-310-289-921 total.
Transylvania was led by senior Jack Berger, who shot one-over-par on Tuesday to finish with a three-day score of 229, good for a share of 41st place on the player leaderboard. Junior Harrison Lane shot an even-par 72 on Tuesday to finish with a three-day 231, while senior Blake Young matched Lane with a 79-78-74-231.
The two-day, three-round event spanning Monday and Tuesday included 14 teams currently ranked in the top 20 of the Bushnell/Golfweek NCAA Division III Top 25. 13 of the 18 teams competed in the 2018 NCAA Men's Golf National Championships in spring 2018.
The 2018 Preview event offers potential NCAA qualifying teams their first glimpse at one of two championship courses on the grounds of Keene Trace Golf Club. The Champions course, which hosted this week's 54-hole tournament, along with the Keene Run Golf Course, will serve as the site of the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf National Championships on May 14-17, 2019.
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NCAA Preview All-Tournament Team
Most Valuable Player – Brian Peccie, Washington & Lee
Matt Organisak, Emory
Connor Yakubov, Emory
Eric Yiu, Emory
Cameron Willis, Wittenberg
James Mishoe, Guilford
Jason Li, Carnegie Mellon
Shane Hoben, Ohio Wesleyan
Drew Pershing, Illinois Wesleyan
Hunter Bremer, Rhodes
Josh Gibson, Hope