BEAUMONT, Calif. — Kelby Scharmann became La Verne's first conference medalist since 2012 and the Leopards fought off Claremont-Mudd-Scripps over the final nine holes at Oak Valley Golf Course (par-72) on Tuesday afternoon to win the 2015 SCIAC Men's Golf Championship Tournament.
Scharmann shot an eight-under 208 to run away with the individual title, beating defending national champion Bobby Holden (67-74-73=214) of Redlands by six shots, and became La Verne's first titlist since Derek Zachman '13 won the 2012 tournament.
The senior All-American started slowly by his lofty standards but caught fire in the second round and never looked back. He shot a one-over 73 in the first round but booked a three-under 69 in the second round to move into third place. Then everything came together on the final day. He sank three birdies in a row to start the third round and drilled four more on the back nine without a bogey to card a six-under 66 on the day.
The Leopards needed every one of those birdies as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps made a late charge. The Stags made four birdies as a team in the final three holes and had a chance to tie the Leopards. But Kethan Reddy just missed a short putt for what would've been his third birdie in a row at the 18th hole and the Leopards (294-286-302=882 ) held on for a one shot victory.
Alec Spencer grabbed the headlines in the second round. The sophomore nailed an incredible seven birdies without a bogey to shoot to the top of the leaderboard on Monday. Spencer shot a three-over 75 in the first round and a seven-over 79 in the final round to finish at three-over 219 for the tourney. He finished tied for fourth overall.
Despite winning the championship tournament, La Verne could not make up enough ground on Redlands, which came into the weekend with a 30-stroke lead, and finished second overall in the conference.
The Leopards now await a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship on May 12-15 held at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.