Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. – Trying to simultaneously conjure up echoes of past glory and chisel a potential return to greatness in the future, the Transylvania men's golf team completed a three-round marathon at the 2016 NCAA D-III Fall Preview tournament at the Mission Inn Resort on Monday.
Playing at the same venue which served as the site of the first of two consecutive national runner-up finishes in 2012, Transylvania completed a three-round saga that saw the Pioneers finish with a team score of 935.
Transylvania fired a team-best 305 in round one, followed by a team score of 320 on Sunday, and rounded out the scorecard with a moderate 310 in the final round to set up a final approach to its nontraditional fall season with one week remaining.
The Pioneers tested their mettle against some of the toughest competition on the east coast that they hope to see down the road in the spring circuit and ideally beyond. Transylvania is one of four teams to qualify for and participate in the NCAA Division III Tournament each of the last ten years.
The Mission Inn Resort will once again serve as the site of the championship event for Division III Men's Golf next May. Therefore, the Pioneers encountered what hopes to be their first look at the course they aspire to return to in the spring for some unfinished business.
The Pioneers' top performer in the third and final round was junior Clay Church, who fired a four over-par 76 to lead the way for his Transylvania peers. Senior Rob Canady, sophomore Blake Young, and freshman Spencer McKinney each fired identical scores of 78 on Monday to check into the clubhouse with an act of consistency.
Individual highlights on Monday included an eagle by Young on the 17th hole to aid his tie for second place among his Pioneer teammates in the final round.
Church also collected an eagle over the three-round journey to send the Pios back to Lexington with some good memories and lasting visuals of success.
The freshman McKinney led the Pioneers in total birdies for the week with eight total, while Church followed closely with seven of his own.
The Pioneers will head to the Columbus Country Club in Columbus, Ohio next Sunday for another three-round test at the Gordin Classic. The tournament marks the final fall tournament of the season for Transylvania's varsity men's golf squad before resuming action in the spring months.
For more on Transylvania men's golf, follow their official twitter @TransyGolf