HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's Brad Lankler threatened for an Individual Title at Friday's final round of the 2017 NCAA DIII Men's Golf Championship, ending the 72-hole tournament with a 291 total (71-74-72-74) to record the best finish of his career at fifth place.
Lankler set a program and a Centennial Conference (CC) record for lowest tournament score at the NCAAs by six strokes, which was held by teammate Stephen Colodny who registered a 297 total in 2016.
He now has two straight top 10 finishes at the Tournament, the only CC golfer to ever do so, after placing sixth last season. This year's fifth-place showing marked the second-best finish in program history, during the Tournament's current format, after Colodny took fourth a year ago.
On Friday, Lankler shot two-over at the par-72, 6,844-yard El Campeon Golf Course and held a two-stroke lead on the front nine. Lankler finished the final round with four birdies with three coming on par-four holes. Hope's Josh Gibson was one of two golfers to shoot five under on the day, while Wittenberg's Garrett Brinkly shot a four under, to tie for the Individual Title with a 287 total. Gibson won the first playoff hole to capture the Title.
Wittenberg finished atop the team leaderboard at 1180, while Guilford College was close behind at 1182.
F&M placed 20th out of 42 competing schools with a 621 total (313-308), marking the third consecutive season the Diplomats placed in the top-20 at the Tournament. In April, F&M won its fourth straight CC Crown and eighth in the last 10 year's to gain an automatic bid into the program's 12th NCAA Tournament.