The Oglethorpe men's golf team is in Rochester, New York, this week, getting set for their 17th overall appearance at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship. The event will take place Tuesday through Friday and will be held at Midvale Country Club and Mendon Golf Club in the Rochester area. It will represent the 16th consecutive appearance for the Stormy Petrels at the prestigious event.
The Petrels will be led into the tournament by senior David Kleckner, and he will be joined by freshmen Kyle Shealy, Patrick Mills and Jacob Arnett, and by sophomore Colyn Petty. Shealy and Mills are fresh off of their SAA Co-Newcomer of the Year honors while Kleckner joined both of them on the All-SAA First Team. Shealy won the SAA individual medal at the conference championship in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, last month. Arnett comes off of earning a spot on the All-SAA Second Team.
Oglethorpe head coach Jim Owen is coming off his fourth consecutive SAA Coach of the Year honor. He'll look to lead the team to the program's third national championship.
"I really thought we put some things together in the SAA Championship last month," said Owen. "We are playing our best golf of the year at the right time. Hopefully, that'll carry over into this week in Rochester. I'm excited to see what this squad can do."
"Having 16 teams in a row get here is a tremendous accomplishment for our program," Owen continued. "This group very much wants to play well here and compete for the title. I think they're more than capable of doing that. It should be a fun week!"
The Petrels will enter the tournament sporting the No. 3 ranking in the final Bushnell Golfweek Division III Coaches Poll of the regular season. They'll face off against a number of other teams from the poll, including top-ranked Methodist, who sat atop the rankings the entire regular season and garnered 13 of a possible 14 first-place votes. The Petrels will also face against No. 2 Claremont-M-S; SAA opponent Berry and St. Thomas (Minnesota), currently tied for No. 4; No. 6 Concordia (Texas); No. 7 Huntingdon; No. 8 Wittenberg; No. 9 Texas-Tyler; SAA opponent and 10th-ranked Rhodes; No. 11 LaGrange; No. 12 Emory, who received the other first-place vote in the poll; No. 14 Illinois Wesleyan; No. 17 Southwestern (Texas); No. 21 St. John Fisher, who serves as the tournament host; No. 22 Washington and Lee; and No. 24 Transylvania. A host of other teams will join the group of top 25 squads in the 41-team field.
The Petrels finished 10th at the 2015 event, held at Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. Anthony Maccaglia finished tied for second as an individual with a 3-under-par 285 for the event. Kleckner serves as the only returning Petrel from last year's 5-player squad. He finished tied for 26th with a 9-over-par 297 over the course of the 72-hole event.
Oglethorpe will get their week started Tuesday afternoon at 1:20 p.m. on the 10th hole at Midvale Country Club. Fans will be able to follow along with live, 3-hole scoring by clicking here.