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CMS finished in third place at the NCAA Championships
CMS finished in third place at the NCAA Championships

CMS Men's Golf Finishes Tied for Third at NCAA Division III Championships

GolfStat Scoring

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's golf team caught fire in the middle part of its final round and made a run at a comeback for a national title, but settled for a third-place tie at the NCAA Division III Championships on Friday afternoon.

It marks the second-highest finish at the NCAA Championships in program history, passing the fourth-place finish of the 2013 team, and ranking behind only the national championship won by the 2016 squad. 

CMS ended up with a four-day score of 1182 (+34) tying Huntingdon for third, 14 shots behind Methodist (+20) and six behind second-place Hampden-Sydney. 

The Stags came into the day down by 13 strokes and got off to a slow start, falling behind by as many as 24 in the early going. However, CMS shot a -5 collectively over the five holes from No. 5 to No. 10, and when Yuefeng (Michael) Ma had an eagle on the 10th, the Stags had fought their way back to just 10 strokes down and a national championship was in play on the back nine. 

After coming back to the pack from +10 to +22, though, Methodist steadied itself on the back nine, shooting -2 as a team over the final nine holes and making a comeback unlikely. CMS closed strong, with Will Parker picking up a birdie on No. 17 and Ma and Vijay Jain adding birdies on No. 18, but the Stags ended up 14 shots back and in a tie for third, collecting an NCAA trophy for its strong performance that saw them climb from seventh after the first round, and then to fifth, fourth, and third over the final three days. 

Will Parker earned a top-10 finish on the individual leaderboard, coing in ninth place with a 292 (+5). Mason Chiu was tied for 24th at +11, and Ma was right behind in a tie for 29th at +12 and Vikram Chatterjee was tied for 32nd at +13. Ma had the low round of the day for the Stags on Friday with a 71 (-1). 

CMS will be in strong position to build off its performance this week, as Chiu is the only senior who competed in the postseason for the Stags this year. In addition to the five who attended nationals, Adrian Chiu, Mason's younger brother, competed at the SCIAC Championships and will be back next season as well.