Men's golf captures third SAA championship in 23-stroke runaway; Arnett earns individual conference titile

Men's golf captures third SAA championship in 23-stroke runaway; Arnett earns individual conference titile

The Oglethorpe men's golf team rolled to their third SAA championship and 13th overall conference title Sunday at Greystone Golf Club in Dickson, Tennessee, posting a 1-under-par 287 to finish the tournament with an impressive 54-hole score of 10-under 854. The 20th-ranked Stormy Petrels made quick work of No. 21 Berry, beating them by 23 strokes over the tournament's three days. They bested No. 19 Rhodes by a whopping 32 strokes.

Senior Jake Arnett took home the individual medal, becoming the first Petrel to win the individual conference title since teammate Kyle Shealy accomplished the feat as a freshman in 2016. His three-round score of 11-under 205 served as the lowest in Oglethorpe conference-tournament history. He finished his tournament with a 2-under 70 on Sunday, cruising to an eight-stroke victory.

Freshman Justin Rickerson and Shealy both finished in the top 10, tying for third at 1-over 217. Each shot an even-par 72 on Sunday to maintain their position in the top three, 12 strokes back of Arnett.

Sophomore Anthony DeRosa recorded a 1-over 73 on Sunday and finished tied for sixth at 3-over 219. 

Those four all earned spots on the all-tournament team.

Freshman Isley McClure shot a 6-over 78 to finish his tournament at 10-over 226. That put him in a tie for 18th place.

The Petrels recovered from a shaky fall to play their way back into national consideration. They finished 10th or worse in all four national tournaments they competed in prior to winter break, but came back to finish sixth or better in all four national tournaments over the course of the spring. That included a win at the Adidas Intercollegiate March 11 and 12, as well as a pair of top five finishes amid stacked national fields at the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational and Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate Golf Championship. Now, they've secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships in mid-May, capping their improbable comeback and earning their way back to the national tournament after a one-year absence in 2018.

Oglethorpe will compete for the national championship from May 14-17 at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Second Round Recap

The Oglethorpe men's golf team enjoyed one of their best rounds of the season Saturday at the SAA Golf Championships. It allowed them to extend their lead to an impressive 21 strokes over their nearest competitor, No. 21 Berry, and to 25 strikes over No. 19 Rhodes in third. The No. 20 Stormy Petrels posted an 8-under-par 280 on Saturday, the best round of the tournament by seven strokes -- beating their previous mark from Friday -- to finish the day at 9-under 567.

Things were clicking on all cylinders for the Petrels. They carded a pair of eagles, and counted 15 birdies on the day at Greystone Golf Club in Dickson, Tennessee. Those 17 counted below-par holes compared with just eight above-par ones.

Senior Jake Arnett blazed around the course with a 6-under 66 to run out to a nine stroke lead over his nearest competitor at 9-under 135 for the tournament. He did not score worse than par on a hole throughout the second round and finished with four birdies and an eagle. 

He leads by 10 strokes over freshman Justin Rickerson and senior Kyle Shealy, both of whom find themselves tied for third at 1-over 145 for the tournament. Rickerson shot 1-under 71 on the day while Shealy shot even-par 72. 

Sophomore Anthony DeRosa blasted his way up into the top 10, carding a 1-under 71 on Saturday to vault himself seven spots up the leaderboard into a tie for sixth at 2-over 146. Freshman Isley McClure fell back a bit with a 5-over 77, but remained in the top 15. He finished the day tied for 12th at 4-over 148.

The Petrels look to secure their third SAA championship and 13th overall conference title, as well as an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships, on Sunday. They'll hit the Greystone course starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

First Round Recap

The Oglethorpe men's golf team posted an outstanding first round score of 1-under-par 287 Friday at the SAA Golf Championships in Dickson, Tennessee. That mark put the No. 20 Stormy Petrels in first place by seven strokes over No. 21 Berry and by 15 over No. 19 Rhodes with 36 holes to go.

The Petrels got off to a great start early at the Greystone Golf Club, recording 11 birdies on their front nine and building a lead early. They maintained their advantage through the back nine with three birdies and an eagle.

Senior Jake Arnett held the individual lead after 18 holes, posting a 3-under 69 on the day. His round featured five birdies and just two bogeys. He got off to an excellent start with three birdies and no bogeys on the front nine.

Arnett sat a couple strokes up on freshman Isley McClure, who posted the best round of his collegiate career so far with a 1-under 71. He bagged four birdies and matched Arnett with three birdies and no bogeys on the front nine.

Senior Kyle Shealy finished the day tied for fifth with a 1-over 73, putting himself just four strokes behind Arnett. He recorded a couple of birdies and parred eight of nine holes on the back nine.

Freshman Justin Rickerson finished the round tied for ninth with a 2-over 74. He came up one stroke ahead of sophomore Anthony DeRosa, who recorded a 3-over 75 on the day. DeRosa carded the team's only eagle on the day, which came on the 17th hole.

The Petrels will be back in action Saturday at 10:45 a.m. EDT, when they tee off from the first hole at Greystone Golf Club for the second of three rounds. The winner of the tournament earns the SAA's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships. 

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