FOLEY, Ala. — Freshman Brady Grafton (Orion, Ill./Orion) carded the best round by a Carl Sandburg College men’s golfer this week and the Chargers lowered their score for the second straight day during their final round of the NJCAA Division II Championship on Wednesday at GlenLakes Golf Club.
The Chargers posted their best score of the tournament by 11 shots, totaling a 319 that put them in 19th place at 999 through 54 holes.
With a chance of inclement weather in the forecast for Thursday’s final round, tournament officials followed NJCAA bylaws to cut the field to the top 15 teams and any team within 15 strokes of the leading team as well as the top 24 individuals and any player within 15 strokes of the individual leader.
“It’s tough to have our tournament come to an end like this, but the folks in charge made the right decision so a true champion could be decided in the four days of the tournament,” Chargers coach Ryan Twaddle said. “Still, to go to the national tournament as a team for the sixth time in nine years is a big accomplishment for our program, and it was another great experience for us.”
Grafton didn’t record a birdie on the day, but he made 13 pars, including eight on the front nine to close his round for a 6-over-par 78.
The Chargers also got 80s from sophomore Ryan Hansen (Neponset, Ill./Kewanee) and freshman Bryce Grafton (Orion, Ill./Orion) as well as an 81 from freshman Brayden Reece (Monmouth, Ill./Monmouth-Roseville). Sophomore Michael Curry (Petersburg, Ill./PORTA) posted an 84 that didn’t count toward Sandburg’s team score.
“It was great to see us finally put together a solid round today,” Twaddle said. “Brady had a tough first two rounds, so it was awesome to see him bounce back today for us.”
Parkland, led by Kristian Kristensen’s 8-under 64, shot 277 to overtake Meridian (Miss.) for the team lead with a total of 865 to go up by two.
Jeffrey Miller of South Mountain (Ariz.) and Noah Hoffman of Southeast (Neb.) are tied atop the individual leaderboard at 6 under for the tournament. Kristensen and Leon D’Souza of South Mountain are a shot back entering the final round.