(photo credit: Joe Fisher, Concordia (Texas) University)
Greensboro, N.C. – The Transylvania men's golf team raised its collective game to new levels in Thursday's third round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Golf National Championships at the Grandover Resort, shooting a scorching team score of 290, its best tournament round thus far.
Ending the second round in ninth place, the Pioneers shot the second-best round of any team in Thursday's third round, outpaced only by first-place Methodist University.
Improving upon their round-two score by five strokes, the Pioneers turned in a three-day score of 882 with one round remaining at Grandover.
Each Pioneer put forth a consistent and impactful effort, led by junior Blake Young, who sank 14 pars to finish with an even 72 on Thursday. Young remains one-under-par for the tournament as he moved up to a tie for seventh place on the individual leaderboard.
The best score of the day for the Pioneers came from senior Carson Wattenbarger, who continues to heat up as the championships progress. The senior shot a one-under par 71 to turn in his best score of the three rounds.
Wattenbarger opened up the day red-hot, holing three birdies and six pars on the front nine to pave the way for a triumphant Thursday. Wattenbarger is now six-over-par for the tournament for the second-lowest cumulative score among Pioneers, and into a tie for 35th place on the individual leaderboard.
Junior Jack Berger held pace with a four-over-par 76 in round three. Berger parred on 14 of 18 holes to check in at eight-over-par at the end of the third round.
Sophomore Spencer McKinney delivered back-to-back days of terrific play, finishing Thursday's round with a two-over par 74, bolstered by 14 pars and one birdie.
Sophomore Harrison Lane made it a day to remember as he carded the third-best score of his teammates on Thursday, shooting a one-over-par 73. Lane scored a Pioneer-best five birdies in Thursday's round, being responsible for five of Transy's 12 team birdies on Thursday.
The Pioneers used a blistering finish on the back nine to make a final move up the leaderboard as three of five Transylvania golfers finished the 18th hole with a birdie.
At 18-over-par as a team, the Pioneers are tied for fifth place with Concordia (Texas) University, and sit three strokes back of Texas-Tyler for fourth place. Host team Guilford College is in third place at 12-over-par, while Washington and Lee maintains a nine-stroke advantage over Transy and Concordia for second place. Methodist University shot a six-under-par 282 to finish the third round 10 strokes ahead of Washington and Lee.
Transylvania will enter Friday's final round aiming for its best finish since 2013, when the Pioneers repeated as national runners-up.
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