Illinois Wesleyan, Will Hocker win Division III titles
14 May 2021
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com
see also: William Hocker Rankings
Illinois Wesleyan won its second straight NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship on Friday in wire-to-wire fashion at the Speidel Jones Course at Oglebay Resort and Golf Club in Wheeling, West Va.
The Titans finished with a 22-over team score of 1155 for the 72-hole event, which was good for a 13-shot victory over second place Methodist University. Guilford College finished third at 1179 (+47) while Carnegie Mellon (1184) and Huntingdon College (1184) rounded out the top five.
The Titans built a three-shot lead after the first round and gradually increased its advantage over the next three days before laying claim to its second straight national title. Illinois Wesleyan becomes the first school to repeat as Division III champions since St. John’s (Minn.) in 2007-08. The Titans 72-hole total of 1155 is the lowest in championship competition since 1998.
Three Titans earned top-10 finishes, including senior Rob Wuethrich (t-4th; 288), junior Jimmy Morton (6th; 289) and sophomore Ethan Wilkins (10th; 292). Senior Andrew Abel finished just outside the top-10, tying for 12th at 295 while senior Justin Park shot the Titan’s lowest round on Friday, closing with a even par 71 to tie for 34th (301).
Will Hocker of Webster earned medalist honors with a 2-over score of 285 (69-72-73-71), two strokes clear of Robb Kinder of Christopher Newport and Cooper Hrabek of Methodist. Hocker began the day tied for the lead with Denison’s Marc Mitchell, Illinois Wesleyan’s Jimmy Morton and Methodist’s Andre Chi, but used a closing round 71 to claim the individual title while Chi and Morton faded with rounds of 74 and 75, respectively.
Hocker's medalist national championship was the third event the senior from Grapevine, Texas won during the 2021 spring season as he opened this season by winning medalist honors at the season opening Big Blue Spring Opener hosted by Millikin University and he won medalist honors at the Rhodes College Spring Classic. He is the first Webster student-athlete to win an individual championship in any sport.
Illinois Wesleyan and Webster Athletic Communications contributed to this report.