INDIANAPOLIS – With all five golfers scoring the 70s for the second consecutive day, the Hanover men's golf team finishes the first weekend of the nine-team HCAC Championships in third place.
The Fort Golf Resort played host to the opening two rounds of the league meet and the Panthers posted team scores of 306 and 307 for a total of 613 strokes. Hanover is just two back from Mt. St. Joseph (611) for second place, while Transylvania used two sub-300 rounds to sit atop the leaderboard at the midway point (588). The institution sitting in first place after next weekend's rounds will earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Championships in mid-May.
Leading the way for the Blue and Red Sunday was sophomore Austin Zapp (Union, Ky.), who used a back-nine 35 to tie a season-low round of 73. Zapp, who is fifth in the overall standings with a two-day total of 150, is tied for first in the field in total pars (23) and par three scoring average (3.13). The sophomore recorded four of his five tournament birdies Sunday, with three coming on his back-nine performance.
Freshman Aaron Wade (Loveland, Ohio) bounced back from a first-round 79 Saturday, as his 76 on Day Two moved him up five spots into a tie for 13th. Wade also has 23 pars through two rounds, which included 15 on Sunday. The freshman's back nine during the second round consisted of nine pars.
The three remaining Hanover golfers, senior Tony Rogers (Indianapolis, Ind.), sophomore Bradley Murray (Carmel, Ind.) and freshman Garrett Valentine (Elizabethtown, Ky.), all carded rounds of 79 Sunday, which was still just over one stroke better than the tournament scoring average for the round. Rogers and Murray are tied with Wade for 13th overall in the field of 45 golfers. Murray also paces the Panthers in par-five scoring through 36 holes at three-under (4.63). The trio tied for 13th all have tournament scores of 155.
Valentine is tied for 18th after an opening round 77 has him with 156 total strokes. The freshman ate up the final four holes of the front nine at the Fort Golf Resort, finishing the weekend six-under on Nos. 6-9. Valentine birdied all four holes during Sunday's round, finishing the out-nine with a 36.
The HCAC Championship Tournament will conclude next Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, in Defiance, Ohio, at Eagle Rock Golf Club. Hanover recently appeared in tournament action at Eagle Rock GC, accumulating a 36-hole total of 605, which included the squad's lowest team round of the season, 297.
Contact: Tyler Jester