LUBBOCK, Texas — With so many shots separating his team from tournament leader Midland, Indian Hills head golf coach Mike Hagen figured it would take a very low round to catch up.
”Getting off to that tough start and digging ourselves a hole (to start the tournament) really hurt ourselves,” Hagen said entering Thursday’s third round of the NJCAA Division I National Tournament with his Warriors trailing by 25 shots after two rounds. “We felt like we needed to shoot 12 or 14 under par to be in it.”
Hagen was certainly right about the type of score it took to not only catch, but pass Midland atop the leaderboard. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Hagen’s team that fired the round, or rounds, that would establish a brand new set of leaders at the Rawls Course in West Texas.
Odessa College, for the first time in the tournament, will sleep on the lead as the second-ranked Wranglers fired one of three double-digit sub-par rounds on an extreme version of ‘moving’ day at the national tourney. The 10-under par 278 third-round moved Odessa into the lead by one shot over top-ranked Central Ala., who went from the middle of the pack to second place thanks to an incredible 16-under-par 272 total.
Sixth-ranked Scottsdale also moved into the mix, firing a 12-under 276 to move to five-over for the tournament through three rounds. Brevard, who started the day just four shots ahead of IHCC, also moved into the top five by shooting a 276 of their own to move within six shots of the lead.
”Brevard was only a few shots ahead of us at the start of the day, now they’re a few shots out of the lead,” Hagen said.
While all those scores moved so many teams around them into contention, Indian Hills missed out on their opportunity to significantly cut into its deficit. IHCC settled for a one-over 289, its best round yet of the tournament, to move up just four spots to 12th place while remaining 23 shots out of first with one round to go.