The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

May 18, 2012

Warriors lead by eight strokes heading into final round

NEWTON, Kan. — It wasn’t just a tightly-packed leaderboard that awaited the Indian Hills golf team on Thursday at Sand Creek Station Golf Course.

For the first time in the tournament, strong winds began to blow as the Warriors got their third round under way. It was in those tougher conditions, however, that fourth-ranked IHCC got off to their best start with solid rounds by all five players leading the way to a solid eight-over round of 296.

With most of their nearest challengers seeing their rounds blown into the 300s, IHCC opened an eight-shot lead after three rounds at the NJCAA Division I Men’s National Golf Championships. Mike Hagen’s squad is now just 18 holes away from winning the second straight Division I and third overall national title on Friday.

“It was a great 296. That’s the first thing I can say,” Hagen stated about the Warriors’ efforts during a tough day in central Kansas. “We came out and had all five guys get off to good starts. All five of them had solid rounds. They kept moving on down the course and minimized their mistakes.”

Third-ranked Western Texas, who shared the first-round lead with IHCC and only trailed by a shot entering Thursday, remained in second despite a third-round 303. Top-ranked Meridian made the biggest move of the day as the only other team to post a sub-300 third round score with a 297 moving the Florida school into third place with an 892 total.

“Meridian was out there for about seven holes before the wind really started to pick up. We played right into the heart of it when we started our round,” Hagen said. “It really started howling on our final three holes.”

Sophomore Jon-Paul Blampied battled his way back to within a shot of the meet medalist lead, using a one-over 73 to stay at even-par for the tournament with a 216. Blampied is in a three-way tie for fourth individually with three player tied for the lead heading into Friday.

Freshman Ben Ludlam is also in the meet medalist chase after a three-over 75 left Ludlam tied for eighth with a 218 three-round score. IHCC will tee off this afternoon at 12:45 p.m. with the comfort of an eight-shot lead needing a steady round to complete a successful national title defense.

“All of the teams behind us are solid, but I feel like we let them off the hook a little in the first two rounds,” Hagen said. “The seperation we got (Thursday) is big. We don’t have to do anything specatular. We just have to get out there and give ourselves a chance at a solid day.”

“We’re not going to worry about Western Texas. We’re not going to worry about Meridian. The only thing we’re focused on is Indian Hills.”

NJCAA DIVISION I MEN’S NATIONAL GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS

THIRD ROUND

At Sand Creek Station Golf Course, Newton, Kansas

5/17/12

Par 72

Team scoring —  1. Indian Hills 292-294-296-882, 2. Western Texas 292-295-303-890, 3. Meridian 299-296-297-892, 4. Odessa College 297-292-306-895, 5. Darton 300-295-304-899, T6. McLennan 299-292-312-903, T6. Midland 292-296-315-903, 8. New Mexico JC 304-294-308-906, 9. Central Alabam 305-285-318-908, T10. Brevard 302-298-310-910, T10. Dodge City 308-296-306-910, 12. Tri-County 296-312-313-921, 13. Iowa Western 307-302-313-922, 14. Scottsdale 307-303-316-926, 15. Hutchinson 303-316-309-928, 16. Wallace State 313-306-311-930, 17. North Idaho 307-314-314-935, 18. Johnson County 303-307-326-936, 19. USC-Lancaster 310-319-309-938, 20. Pima 300-321-323-944, T21. Garden City 317-310-323-950, T21. Trinidad State 320-305-325-950, 23. Eastern Arizona College 321-304-326-951.

Leaders — Mathais Boesmans (Western Texas) 71-69-75-215, Jake Stirling (Meridian) 71-74-70-215, Jamie Warman (Odessa) 74-72-69-215.

Top Ten — T1. Mathais Boesmans (Western Texas) 71-69-75-215, T1. Jake Stirling (Meridian) 71-74-70-215, T1. Jamie Warman (Odessa) 74-72-69-215, T4. Jon Paul Blampied (IHCC) 67-76-73-216, T4. Andrew Harvey (Tri-County) 74-74-70-216, T4. Austin McNeill (Darton) 71-71-74-216, 7. Cody Taylor (Texarkana) 71-74-72-217, T8. Ben Ludlam (IHCC) 73-70-75-218, T8. Mariano Rossi (Dodge City) 74-69-75-218, 10. Joe Sakulpolphaisan (Darton) 70-74-76-220.

IHCC individuals — T4. Blampied 67-76-73-216, T8. Ludlam 73-70-75-218, T24. William White 75-75-75-225, T27. Mitch Tucker 77-73-76-226, T58. Monty Lack 77-82-73-232.

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