Final Push Lifts Stags Into Top-Ten at National Championships

Johnny Brandt shoots a one-under, 71 on Friday to lead the Stags into ninth place in the National Championships.
Johnny Brandt shoots a one-under, 71 on Friday to lead the Stags into ninth place in the National Championships.

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's golf team got better, and better, and better every day at the NCAA Division III National Championships, eventually posting a two-over, 290 in the final round on Friday to jump four spots in the team standings. CMS finished the team standings in ninth place with a four-day score of 32-over. The Stags shot rounds of 305 (+17), 298 (+10), 291 (+3), and 290 (+2) with Alex Wrenn (CMC) leading the charge across the week, tying for 12th-place at three-over par.

In their four rounds in the Tournament, CMS had four different low scorers, hilighting their depth. On Tuesday, Jonathan Shaw (CMC) posted a 73 (+1), on Wednesday it was Matt Shuman (CMC) leading the way with a 70 (-2), in the third round on Thursday Wrenn shot a 69 (-3), and in Friday's final round Johnny Brandt (CMC) carded a 71 (-1).

The Stags' round of two-over, 290 on Friday was the second-lowest of the 18 teams competing on the day, allowing CMS to jump from 13th place at the beginning of the day into ninth place at the end. Only Hope College was better on Friday with a one-under, 287 on Friday.

As mentioned, Johnny Brandt carded his best round of the week with a nearly flawless one-under, 71. Brandt made four birdies and 13 pars on his first 17 holes of the day, but a triple bogey on the ninth hole to finish his career with a one-under, 71. Brandt placed in a tie for 85th on the week at 25-over par for the Tournament.

Just one stroke behind Brandt on Friday were teammates Austin Long (CMC) and Jonathan Shaw at even-par, 72. Teeing off on the 10th hole, Long started his day with a par, but made back-to-back bogies to go two-over through three holes. Eleven pars followed for the sophomore before consecutive birdies on holes six and seven brought Long back to even. He finished the day with a pair of pars, to card his second-straight round of even par at the Championships. Long finished in a tie for 54th place at 13-over on the week.

Like Long, Shaw also posted a 72 in the final round of the Tournament. Shaw made three birdies on his first nine of the day and made the turn at two-under. He completed his collegiate career with two bogies and seven pars on his final nine holes to level out his round at 72. Shaw finished his four rounds at five-over par in a tie for 18th place.

Matt Shuman also played the final round of his college career with a five-over, 77 on Friday. Shuman made a pair of birdies on the day and was even through his first 13 holes. A triple and a double late in the round ended the senior's career tied for 69th place at the Championships at 17-over.

Alex Wrenn was the best finisher for the Stags on the week, placing in a tie for 12th at three-over. Wrenn entered the final round even for the Tournament, but shot a three-over, 75 on Friday to slide down the leaderboard just slightly. Wrenn made three birdies in the round, including two in his final four holes.

After just barely making the cut after two rounds, CMS shot up the team leaderboard to finish in the top-ten after going a combined five-over in the final two rounds.

As mentioned, Friday's final round signifies the ending of a tremendous career for the Stags' senior class of Matt Shuman, Jonathan Shaw, and Johnny Brandt. The trio were all members of the Stags' NCAA National Championship team in 2016 and, over the course of their careers, helped CMS claim three SCIAC Championships, make four appearances at the NCAA Championships, and earned too many individual accolades to name. Their contributions have helped take the Stags' golf program to new heights over the last four years.