May 13, 2022

Dragons up 15 shots headed into final round at nationals

Posted May 13, 2022 10:13 AM

HutchCC Sports Information

ODESSA, Texas – Several contenders made third-round runs on Thursday, but the defending national champion Hutchinson Community College men’s golf team maintained a sizable lead after 54 holes at the NJCAA Division I National Championship.

The Blue Dragons take a 15-stroke lead over New Mexico Junior College into Friday’s final round at the Odessa Country Club. Hutchinson shot a third-straight round under par and have a 54-hole score of 15-under 848. New Mexico is second at 863 and Eastern Florida State is third at 868.

Blue Dragon sophomore and 2021 national champion Ben Partridge continues to lead the individual title chase after three rounds. Partridge is currently at 8-under par 208 after rounds of 68, 70 and 70.

Blue Dragon teammate Dominic Clemons and New Mexico’s Matthis Lefevre are tied for second at 6-under 210. Blue Dragon freshman Blake Saffell is fourth at 4-under 211.

Hutchinson, New Mexico and Eastern Florida State will once again pair for the final five tee times on Friday. Tee times for the Blue Dragons begin at 1:24 p.m.

The Blue Dragons shot a second-straight 6-under 282 in Thursday’s third round.

Clemons was the Blue Dragons’ low golfer with his second-straight and career low 69. Partridge posted a 70. Sophomore Addison Alonzo had a tournament-low 71 while Saffell and sophomore Harry Crockett both had 72s.

New Mexico posted the low team round on Thursday with a 10-under 278 to trim four strokes off the Blue Dragon lead. Eastern Florida State shot 283. Odessa also shot 279 to vault back into the Top 5. Midland is fifth after a 284.

Playing 2-under through the first nine holes on Thursday, Clemons suffered a double-bogey on No. 10, but quickly recovered with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. Clemons had four birdies on the back nine to finish the round at 3-under 69.

Partridge had two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, but tallied birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 to complete his third-straight under-par round at 2-under 70.

Alonzo had three birdies on the front nine, but closed at 1-under 71 with two bogeys on the back nine.

Crockett had three birdies and three bogeys in his best round of the 2022 Championship. Saffell also had three birdies and three bogeys on Thursday after shooting a career-low 67 on Wednesday.

The Blue Dragons are looking to become the first team to repeat as a team national champions since Indian Hills in 2014 and 2015. Partridge bids to become the first repeat individual champion since Central Alabama’s Nick Rousey in 1999 and 2000.