ATLANTA, G.A. — The Oglethorpe men’s golf team earned the 13th Top 10 finish in program history Friday (May 15th, 2015) and senior Anthony Maccaglia garnered his second career top two individual finish at the NCAA Division III Championship in Greensboro, N.C., and earned Division III PING First Team All-American honors from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) in the awards ceremony after the tournament for the fourth time in his career. Maccaglia shot four-over 76 on the day and fell to second place on the back nine, but was able to maintain a tie for second on the week with an impressive four-day score of three-under 285 . The team shot 23-over 311 on the day for a weeklong total of 51-over 1203, putting them in 10th place.
Maccaglia finished six strokes back of national medalist Kelby Scharmann after beginning the day on the East Course at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center tied for the lead at seven under par. Maccaglia led by two strokes through 12 holes but the final six holes decided the race for the individual medal. Scharmann was four under over the final four holes, including burying an eagle to start the run, while Maccaglia was five over par over the final six. Still, his second-place finish this year marks the second time in his career that he finished either first or second at the NCAA Championship after he won the national medal his freshman year in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. He shot 70-68-71 over the tournament’s first three days.
The team came in 30 strokes behind champions Methodist and fell three spots down the leaderboard on Friday. They posted two under-300 rounds over the first two days of the tournament to go into the final two days in contentions for the program’s third national championship, but carded 301-311 over the final two days. It does mark the 13th Top 10 finish at the NCAA Championship in the program’s 16 appearances at the event.
Junior David Kleckner carded four-over 76 on the day to finish his tournament in a 26th-place tie, 18 off the lead pace. He finished his four-day event at nine-over 297. Senior Will Morrow completed his collegiate career with a nine-over 81, finishing at 309 for the tournament. Meanwhile, freshmen Matt Young and Michael Sheahan both finish with four-day totals of 318. Young shot six-over 78 for the day while Sheahan put up nine-over 81.
“We were within five strokes of fifth early in the round today,” said Head Coach Jim Owen, “getting off to a great start after not having such a great start to any of the previous rounds. We just couldn’t maintain it, though, on this very difficult course. The East Course is so difficult that if you have your B game, you get a C result, and that’s kind of what happened this year. Still, we’re very proud to be have finished in the Top 10 in 13 of our 16 championship appearances.”
Methodist won the 11th national championship in their program’s history by three strokes over LaGrange. Wittenberg finished in third place, four strokes back of the Monarchs, while Berry, who led coming into the final round, finished six strokes back in fourth. Redlands rounded out the Top 5 and came in 13 back of the lead. Texas-Tyler, Schreiner, tournament co-hosts Guilford, Illinois Wesleyan and Oglethorpe completed the tournament’s Top 10.
Though Maccaglia’s collegiate career is over, he’s likely to receive more acclaim to round out his outstanding four years at Oglethorpe over the coming weeks. In addition to his First Team All-American honors, he recently was named a member of the Capital One Academic All-District team by the College Sports Information Directors of America, automatically nominating him for Capital One Academic All-America honors. He’s a nominee for the SAA Man of the Year Award and a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award, also presented by the GCAA.
“I’m very proud of Anthony,” Owen continued. “He was in position, up by two through 12 holes, but had a couple of bad breaks on pinpoint shots that led to two bogeys. After [Scharmann] eagled six and birdied eight and nine, Anthony knew that he had to birdie his final three holes and had to go for it. It didn’t work out, but I’m very pleased with the way he played all week long, as well as his entire career, needless to say. What he’s accomplished, highlighted by being a four-time First Team All-American, is amazing.”
The Stormy Petrels will return three of the competitors in this year’s NCAA Championship next year (Kleckner, Young and Sheahan) as well as freshman Brad Wonka, who competed for the Petrels in numerous events throughout the season. They’ll look to return to the NCAA Championship for the 17th straight time next year.
“We now close a chapter with Anthony and Will graduating,” said Owen. “We’ll have to reload a bit next year, but we gained valuable experience this year for our freshmen as to what it takes at one of these championships. The course hit us pretty hard today, but we’ll learn from it and put it into improving next year.”