GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Schreiner went wire-to-wire and won the 2014 NCAA Divison III Championship on Friday at the Grandover Resort. The Mountaineers won the title by five shots against No. 3 Oglethorpe. The Stormy Petrals won two of the past four national titles and staged a great battle with SU during the final nine holes. By then, the chase for the championship was down to the two teams on the closing holes.
Led by the junior duo of Cheyne Kendall and Jimmy Keener, the Mountaineers held off the challenge to win the title in just the school's second appearance in the finals. SU played in the 2013 national tournament and finished 15th out of 41 teams. Four members of that team were back for the second go-round and used last year's experience well.
Kendall, who was second last year after 36 holes only to struggle on the final two days, carried the ball all the way to the end this time around. His four-round total of 288 (70-70-74-74) trailed only Bobby Holden from the Redlands for the individual title. Keener, also a junior, shot rounds of 70-73-72-75 (290, +2) and finished third overall. Junior Zach Oliver finished 40th after rounds of 74-75-80-76. Freshman Matt McClung was 46th after going 71-76-80-80. He was the only Mountaineer not at last year's championship. Sophomore Phil Stewart was 62nd after posting 74-75-76-85.
The title caps a memorable spring season for the team. SU won four of its six tournaments, including three of the past four. In the other two tournaments, the Mountaineers finished runner-up. For the spring season, Schreiner posted a record of 36-2 against teams ranked in the national top 25.
Schreiner, ranked No. 16 nationally at the start of the week, shot a total of 1,185 to Oglethorpe's 1,190. Top-ranked Redlands finished in third place at 1,192, followed by seventh-ranked Methodist in fourth place (1,197). No. 5 Wittenberg was fifth at 1,203, followed by No. 6 St. John Fisher and No. 8 LaVerne at 1,204 which tied for sixth. 10th-ranked LaGrange, 11th-ranked Transylvania and No. 15 Berry tied at 1,207 for eighth. Fellow SCAC member Southwestern finished 11th while defending national champion Texas-Tyler was 13th.
"We're so happy for the guys," head coach Ron Macosko said. "The men's program has been special all year. Cheyne and Jimmy really were our horses this week, but we have great depth that has helped us time and again. Great friends, great competition and the players trusted us enough to try doing things a different way. This achievement belongs to everyone associated with Schreiner Golf because we're all one big family. Although those five guys delivered the title, everyone had a piece of this championship. As great as this is, we also got word this week that the men's team won the Team Scholar award and that makes us just as proud. It's been an amazing run over the years to watch the program grow and get better and the future looks even better. It's going to feel great bringing the NCAA trophy to Kerrville."
It is Schreiner's first national title since the school moved to a four-year institution in 1980.
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