LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall is set for its fifth-straight NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship this week when the 2018 Tournament opens tomorrow, Tuesday, May 15th. The four-round, 72-hole event is held at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. from May 15-18.
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F&M's Road to the Tournament
The Diplomats earned one of 33 automatic qualifier bids for the 13th NCAA appearance in program history after securing their fifth straight Centennial Conference (CC) Crown and 15th overall Conference Championship.
Ben Mitchell led every round and ended at a one-under 212 with rounds of 67-72-73 to win his first CC Crown. Justin Lankler finished third at 225 (73-72-80) on the par-71, 6,524-yard course. Seiichiro Nakai ended just outside the top-five, tying for sixth after moving up six spots in the final round. He fired rounds of 72-79-76 for a 227. Steve Nicholas tied for 14th at 232 (74-74-84) while Kevin McGloin had a 237 (80-77-80) and took 21st.
F&M holds the top ranking in the Mid-Atlantic regional rankings and is receiving votes in the national coaches association voting. The Diplomats enter the tournament with a 304.9 average through 15 rounds and two first-place finishes.
Day one has F&M paired with St. Scholastica and Trinity opening on hole one at 12:50 p.m. on the East Course. On Wednesday, the group will play on the West Course and tee off on the 10th hole starting at 8:20 a.m. After the 15-team cut following round two, tee times will be posted with the remaining teams.
Last Year NCAA's
At the 2017 NCAA Championships, held at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. from May 16-19, F&M placed 20th out of 42 competing institutions with a 621 total (313-308), missing the 18-team cut be a mere two strokes. It marked the third consecutive season the Diplomats finished in the top-20 at the Tournament.
Brad Lankler threatened for an Individual National Title, setting a program and CC record for lowest tournament score at the NCAAs by six strokes when he accumulated a 291 (71-74-72-74) to finish fifth. In the process, he recorded his second straight top-10 performance at the Tournament, becoming the only CC golfer to ever do so after placing sixth a year before.