Release courtesy of Transylvania University
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – In their 10th straight trip to the NCAA Championships, the Transylvania men's golf team posted a 12th place finish after completing the fourth and final round of the Division III National Championship on Friday at the Midvale Country Club
The Pioneers returned to Midvale for their final round of the year after forging through a tough day in round three at the course just one day before.
Beginning the day in 14th place, Transylvania fired a 19-over par 307 score, their second best team score of the tournament. Played in adverse weather conditions, the fourth round saw a marked improvement by the Pioneers from their third round, when the Pioneers shot a 28-over par at Midvale.
The 19-over par team score was the third best showing of the day in a remaining field of 15 teams. Only ninth place Rhodes College (+9 for Round Four) and Oglethorpe (+12) managed to shoot a better final round than Transylvania.
Posting a four-day score of an 88-over 1236, the Pioneers climbed two spots on the leaderboard to finish their 2016 NCAA Tournament run in 12th place, their best finish in two years when the Pioneers finished eighth at the 2014 National Championship.
The individual leader for the Pioneers over their four-day trek in Rochester was senior Nick McCarthy, who shot a six-over par 78 in his final round as a Transylvania Pioneer. McCarthy's four-day total of 308 slotted the senior in a 36th place finish out of 81 golfers.
"We were able to make up some ground today as a team, and a 12th place finish for the season is a good stopping point for us as a group," said McCarthy after his final round of collegiate competition. "We all grew together as a team this season, with our two freshmen Zach (Treilobs) and Blake (Young) coming up big for us in big moments."
The freshman Young wrapped up his first NCAA Men's Golf Tournament with a strong Round Four three-over par 75, his best score of the tournament.
Young finished third among his Transylvania counterparts and in 51st place overall.
"Rainy and windy weather made for tough conditions today, but I'm pleased with how we handled it as a team," judged Young. "I'm happy we could end the season on a positive note."
For the underclassmen Young and Treilobs, the national tournament not only served as a wonderful opportunity, but also a critical experience for their golf careers. "This week has been very important for Zach and I," added Young. "I'm glad I could contribute to the team as a freshman and can't wait to get back next year. I'm really excited for the next three years to see what we can accomplish."
Treilobs wrapped up his first season at Transy with a six-over par 78 in the fourth round to finish with a four-day total of 322, as he finished 72nd overall.
"The conditions today certainly didn't make an already tough course any easier," commented Treilobs. "But they were nothing new to us and we were able to put together a pretty solid round as a team. I didn't start out very well this morning, but I was able to finish strong and end the tournament on a high note."
As the Pioneers entered the morning trying to make up ground from 14th place, the day also offered a swan song opportunity for the senior trio of McCarthy, Jeff Meade, and Casey Gilligan.
Meade finished second among the Pioneers with a four-day total of 309 after shooting a four-over 76 in his final round, making it his best score of the tournament.
"The team played solid today given the conditions," said Meade. "Our freshmen did their job once again and we seniors played hard in some tough wind and rain early in the round. It was a solid way to cap off the week and the championships."
Meade finished his final collegiate tournament in a tie for 40th place on the leaderboard.
Gilligan carded a seven-over 79 to finish his final collegiate tournament with a four-day score of 313 to finish in 60th place in the field. "I was pleased with how we all played today," said Gilligan. "It was a grind again out there and we fought all week. I'm incredibly sad my golf career at Transy is over and I wish I had four more years. I learned a lot about myself and about how to compete."
Appropriately, the three seniors had copious reflective thoughts to offer on their careers and experiences at Transylvania, while the two freshmen voiced their outlook on this season and their excitement for what the future holds.
After his final round, McCarthy said, "My experience at Transy has been an excellent one, both in terms of play on the golf course and the memories made off of it while on team trips. The opportunity to represent Transy in three NCAA tournaments and play alongside multiple teammates that achieved All-Region and All-American status was an incredible opportunity. The chance to learn valuable lessons from Coach Lane as well as assistant coaches Martin, Montgomery, and Latham was a valuable experience in my life both on and off the course."
Meade said, "My experience with this team has been one that I will always carry with me and look back on with a smile. I may not have had a strong start here at Transy, but after coming off an injury my junior year and having a season like I did this year, I have no regrets and I am very proud of how far I have come."
Treilobs added his high aspirations: "Blake and myself have put ourselves in the position to play in four national championships by our senior years, which would be an amazing accomplishment. But not only do we want to make it to the national championships, we want to compete and make a run at the title."
Gilligan may have summed up the experience best with this thought: "Transy and Coach Lane helped foster me the entire way. I'm going to miss playing competitive golf as a Pioneer. But I will always be a Pioneer."