Diplomats Drop; Survive Cutdown

Diplomats Drop; Survive Cutdown

HERSHEY, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall dropped from second place into a three-way tie for 17th place on the second day of the NCAA Division III National Championships. The Diplomats shot 324 on the Hershey Country Club East Course for a 36-hole total of 622. Despite the rise on the scorecard, the Diplomats lived on for the final 36 holes.

The final rounds will play out on the Hershey Links, where the Diplomats had surged to the front on Tuesday.

Andrew Woods and Cameron Warner each shot 79 on Wednesday to pace F&M. Warner is F&M's top player on the leaderboard in a 13-way tie for 30th place with a 36-hole total of 152. Woods is tied for 107th place.

Jeremy Rubin, in second place after 18 holes, is in a 13-way tie for 62nd. He shot 84 on Wednesday. Brendan Mohler is tied with ten golfers for 89th place after shooting an 82 today. Danny Liebowitz shot an 84 on Wednesday and is tied for 130th place out of the 190 golfers that started the tournament.

The Diplomats are tied with Emory and Illinois Wesleyan Universities for 17th, three strokes behind 16th place LaGrange. Top-ranked Methodist University vaulted to the top of the team standings. The Monarchs, who were in 12th place following Tuesday's opening round, shot a two-over-par 290 at the Hershey Links for a two-day total of 597, two strokes better than Huntingdon College, which also shot 290 in the second round and is at 599 overall.

With temperatures in the mid 50's - 10 degrees warmer than Tuesday's opening round - and light winds, average scores were over two strokes better in round two compared to round one.

In the individual standings, Tain Lee of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges maintained the lead after the second round, shooting 69 at Hershey Links for a two-day total of 138 and a six stroke lead over Mitchell Fedorka of the University of La Verne and Steven Strock of Hope College (tied at one-over-par 144).

Guilford College is in third place in the team standings at 600 after shooting 297 at the Hershey Country Club East Course, while first-round leader Skidmore College slipped to fourth after following up Tuesday's 295 at Hershey Links with a 307 at Hershey Country Club East Course. Otterbein College is fifth at 606 following rounds of 300 and 306.

Mitch Mercer of Susquehanna University turned in the tournament's low round on Wednesday with a six-under-par 66 at the Hershey Links. Mercer had six birdies and no bogeys in the round, and climbed into a tie for fourth place with Chris Morris of Centre College at 145, seven shots behind Lee.

The top 23 teams made the cut for the final two rounds of the tournament, which will be held Thursday and Friday at Hershey Links. In addition to the teams, individual players who advanced were Lee, Mercer, Matt Burkhart of Messiah College (150, tied for 20th), Max Bonk of Pacific University (151, tied for 25th) and Travis Gahman of Bridgewater College (152, tied for 31st). Gahman defeated Chad Harvey of Monmouth College via tiebreaker to advance to the third round, with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

The complete leaderboard is currently available on Golfstat.com. Thursday tee times will be posted after the field is re-paired.