GREENSBORO, N.C. — Kelby Scharmann of the University of La Verne men's golf team shot a six-under 66 to shoot to the top of the the leaderboard after the first round of the NCAA National Championship, held at Grandover Resort.
Scharmann was unconscious for a stretch. The senior started the round on the 10th hole of the West Course, grabbed his first birdie on the 17th, and then proceeded to shoot seven-under through the next seven holes. He sank a round-high six birdies and also nailed an eagle on the second hole.
The Leopards finished the day tied for ninth as a team. Michael Bonicatto turned in a three-over 75 while Justin Smith and Alec Spencer each carded a six-over 78 to round out La Verne's scoring. Trently Twamley shot a 10-over 82.
Methodist University grabbed an eight-shot lead after Tuesday's first round of the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships at the Grandover Resort & Conference Center. With a four-under-par 284, the Monarchs hold a one-shot edge over the University of Redlands in the 41-team field.
The teams were divided over Grandover's East and West Courses on a warm and muggy afternoon with temperatures near 90. The par-72, 7,200-yard East Course proved the more difficult of the two with an average score of 78.48 strokes per round. The average West Course score Tuesday was 76.58. Eight of the top-12 teams Tuesday played the West Course in afternoon pairings. Illinois Wesleyan University paced the East Course teams with an opening-round 292, which shares third place overall with LaGrange. Schreiner University, which returned all five individuals from its 2014 national championship squad, shot 10-over 298 on the East Course and sits in 13th place.
Methodist, winners of a record 10 NCAA Division III men's golf titles, put all four of its scorers among the top-15 individuals. Senior Jeff Wells fired a two-under 69 and shares fifth place, two strokes better than teammate Aaron Purviance, who shares 10th place at 71. Wells made one of the day's four eagles with a three on the par-five sixth hole. Mason Stutler and Jackson Collier both carded even-par 72s and share 15th place.
Redlands senior Bobby Holden enjoyed a successful return to the site of his 2014 individual national title by shooting four-under 68. Starting on the West Course's 10th hole, he made five birdies and one bogey in his round. Teammates Ryan Turner and Anthony Estes both shot 72 for the Bulldogs.
Illinois Wesleyan saw all four of its scorers shoot within two strokes of each other with Tony Albano leading the way with a 72. Teammates Tim Tynan and Spencer Groessl followed with 73s and Gabe Aprati shot 74.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges rookie Matt Shuman carded the East Course's low score with a three-under 69. He helped the Stags to a first-day 297, good for a four-way share of ninth place. Wittenberg's Sam Stillwell had a two-under 70 on the East Course and shares the seventh spot with the University of Texas-Tyler's Buddy Hallman and 2012 Division III medalist Anthony Maccaglia of Oglethorpe University, both of whom played the West Course.
Tournament co-host Guilford College sits in sixth place after shooting 294 on the West Course Tuesday. Ty Palmer and Drew Thompson both shot 71 for the Quakers and share 10thplace individually. Palmer stroked five birdies in his round and Thompson notched an eagle on the par-five sixth hole.
The 41 teams and five individuals swap courses and tee times for Tuesday's second round, which begins at 7:30 a.m. La Verne starts off the first hole of the East Course at 7:35 a.m.