Coastal Georgia men’s golf team jumped to third place in the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship in Mesa, Az., after Day 3 on Thursday.
After Day 2, only the top-17 teams continued play as the remaining teams battled it out on a par 71, 6,925-yard layout on the Hilly Desert Course at the Las Sendas Golf Club.
Coastal scored an 8-over 292 on Thursday and improved its overall score to 35-over 887. The Mariners are four strokes behind second-place South Carolina Beaufort who shot a 6-over 290 on Day 3.
Mark David Johnson led the way for the Mariners shooting a 2-under 69 on the round, which boosted him six spots to No. 4 on the individual leaderboard. After three rounds, he has a 2-over 215 overall score and is four strokes off current leader Ben Hadden from Kansas Wesleyan University who has a 2-under 211 total score.
Johnson could take the individual title if he puts together an impressive final round and the cards fall in the right place for him.
Eli Scott shot the second best score for the Mariners with a 1-over 72 on Thursday and jumped nine spots to tied for 30th in the individual race. Jack Lawlor shot a 4-over 75 in round three and fell 15 spots to No. 21 in the individual standings. He’s tied with four other golfers.
Shaun Margeson shot a 5-over 76 on the round, and Chip Thompson rounded it out for the Mariners with a 9-over 80 on Thursday.
Coastal has the chance to have three golfers in the top 40 individual standings if the guys can maintain the scores they have currently.
In second place is South Carolina-Beaufort with a 31-over 883 overall score and are 13 strokes behind the leader. One of the Sand Sharks, Bobby Dunphy, hit a hole-in-one on hole No. 11 on Thursday and is one stroke behind Johnson in the individual standings.
Texas Wesleyan maintained its lead after shooting a 10-over 294 on Day 3. The Rams are currently 18-over 870 overall.
Coastal gained two shots on the Rams and are currently 17 strokes off Texas Wesleyan heading into the final round of the tournament.
“Our guys played better today led by a great round by Mark David Johnson at 69 and Eli Scott at 72. Jackson Lawlor contributed at 75, Shaun Margeson had 76, and Chip Thompson had 80,” said head coach Mike Cook about his team. “We moved from 4th to 3rd place in the standings and only picked up two shots from Texas Wesleyan. We need all hands on deck as anything can happen.”
Coastal’s final grouping will begin today around 7:30 a.m. EST as the Mariners look to close in on a top-3 finish.