Senior Kelby Scharmann of the University of La Verne shot a 72-hole total of 9-under 279 to claim the Leopards first-ever individual medalist honors at the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf National Championship at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro (N.C.).
“I remember my freshman year looking through our record books and seeing that we had never won a championship and I really wanted that,” Scharmann said. “I thought this was something that I could achieve, but it was so far down the road and I didn’t know what it meant.
“To be the first in La Verne history is really cool.”
Scharmann won by six shots over Anthony Maccaglia of Oglethorpe and Jeff Wells of Methodist, but competition was tighter than that.
Maccaglia and Scharmann went into the final round tied for first at seven under par and matched each other shot-for-shot on the front nine on Friday, with both making the turn at even.
Scharmann, playing three holes ahead of Maccaglia, blinked first as he bogeyed his 11th and 13th holes. Maccaglia then birdied the 10th to grab a three-shot lead.
“I had asked my mom after I bogeyed my 13th hole and she told me I was three shots back at that point,” Scharmann said. “Did I think it was over? Kind of. Did I think it was outside of the realm of possibility that I could still win? No. I just kept doing what I’ve doing all year, just trying to clear my head, just keep swinging away and letting it happen.”
Scharmann nailed an eagle on par-5 No. 6 to get back within one stroke of Maccaglia and saved par on No. 7 to pull even with Maccaglia as the Oglethorpe senior bogeyed his No. 4. Scharmann then sank two straight birdies to close out the tournament and saw Maccaglia drop four strokes in his last five holes.
The University of Redlands finished fifth and was the highest local team finisher. The Bulldogs finished at 15-over 303 for the day, their worst showing of the four days, to finish at 34-over 1,186 for the 72 holes. Anthony Estes was the top Redlands player, finishing eighth (290).
Methodist (N.C.) finished first at 1,173, three strokes ahead of runner-up La Grange.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was 13th (1,217) and the University of La Verne 14th (1,219).