McCracken finishes with round of 78
Lewis-Clark State College junior Connor McCracken made a strong run but fell short in his attempt to qualify for the fourth and final round at the 59th annual NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships at the TPC Deere Run Golf Course.
McCracken shot a third-round score of 7-over-par 78 during Thursday’s third round, which was played in windy and later rainy conditions. That left McCracken with a 230 overall score.
Despite improving 10 places during the round, McCracken finished in a tie for 49th place overall in the tournament. Only the top 17 teams and individuals who stand in the top 40 advance to Friday’s final round. McCracken needed to be in 40th place or better to advance.
Still, it was a strong recovery for the two-time Frontier Conference Player of the Year. The Eagle, Idaho product began the tournament with an 82. but followed that up on Tuesday with a 70, which tied for the second-best score of the day. He would have needed to shoot a 76 on Thursday to advance, thus missed the cut by two strokes.
McCracken got off to a rough start when he bogeyed the opening hole for the second time in three days. He then birdied the second hole to move back to even, but a bogey on what turned out to be his nemesis hole, the par-4, 443-yard fourth hole, put him back in the on the plus side. McCracken had two bogeys and a triple bogey on the hole during his three days.
McCracken is the only member of the LCSC golf team to qualify for the event.
Oklahoma City and Malone University are tied for the top spot at 896, two shots ahead of Oklahoma Christian and South Carolina-Beautfort heading into the final 18 holes. Malone’s Justin Lower leads the tournament with a 4-under-par 209.