Nicholasville, Kentucky- The fourth-ranked Wittenberg University Men's Golf Team currently sits in third place with a team score of 587 (295-292) at the midway point of the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships at the Keene Trace Golf Club in Kentucky. The Tigers played on the par-72, 6,897-yard Keene Trace Course on Tuesday, before shifting to the par-72, 7,190-yard Champion Trace Course on Wednesday. The Champion Trace Course will serve as the championship course for rounds three and four over the next two days.
The 2019 Tigers are in roughly the same position at the halfway point of the National Championship Tournament as the 2017 squad that brought home the national title. The 2017 team, which included current senior Colin Laszlo and junior Cameron Willis, sat in second at the midway point, before jumping into the lead at the conclusion of the third round.
The Tigers' two-day total of 587 is currently nine-strokes off of tournament-leading Illinois Wesleyan's two-day score of 578 (287-291), while Guilford holds the second position with a 36-hole tally of 582 (296-286). As the top three squads, Wittenberg, IWU & Guilford will have the final tee times in tomorrow's third round, beginning at 9:20 a.m.
Individually, three of Wittenberg's five players rank within the top-30 after the first two rounds of competition, led by Willis owning a share of the lead with a two-under par score of 142 (72-70). In the first 36 holes of play, Willis has carded eight total birdies, 22 pars and just six bogey's to climb to the top of the leader board.
After carding a disappointing 80 in Tuesday's opening round, junior Ryan Mallette stormed up the leader board on Wednesday after he fired the low-round of the tournament to date with a four-under 68. In Wednesday's round, Mallette carded six total birdies, which included a string of three-straight on the front nine between the fifth and seventh holes. Mallette enters round three as part of a nine-way tie for 20th in the individual standings with a 148 total strokes.
Laszlo will head into round three in a tie for 29th in the individual standings with 149 strokes. Laszlo opened the tournament with an even-par 72 on Tuesday, before giving a few strokes back on Wednesday with a five-over 77.
In addition, senior Cooper Taylor is currently tied for 66th after carding back-to-back rounds of 77, while sophomore Christopher Dunne was tied for 102nd after two rounds of play with a 36-hole score of 157 (74-83).