Previewing the ODAC Men's and Women's Golf Championships

Bryan Park Set to Host Conference Programs

BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. --- The ODAC golf ranks head to a new location for championship play this weekend as Bryan Park Golf and Conference Center is set to host the 2018 ODAC Men's and Women's Golf Championships just north of Greensboro in Browns Summit, N.C. Play is slated for 54 holes on the Champion Course at Bryan Park.

Any improvement in weather will be a welcome change from the 2017 championships for conference players as persistent rain and chilly temperatures affected play throughout all three rounds at Stoney Creek at Wintergreen. Weather could again impact the schedule with rain predicted late in the setup. Any changes to format will be communicated thru the schools and the ODAC's social media platforms.

RELATED: Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center | Directions to Bryan Park

Bryan Park features a pair of 18-hole courses in the Players Course and the Champions Course. Both are a fair test for any player, although the league's contingent will take to the tougher Champions Course for the league tournament. The Champions Course was a previous destination for the 2010 Public Links Championship, proving its pedigree.

The ODAC's men will tee off of hole #1 in round one with the women slated to begin play on #10. The men's layout will play roughly 6,800 yards each day at a par of 72. The women's layout features a 5,800-yard layout with a slightly higher par at 73. Each round will be scored live via Golfstat live scoring. Barring weather, conference players will use a new live option for inputting scores, which should allow for quicker updates of information.

RELATED: Men's Custom Scorecard | Men's Live Scoring | Women's Custom Scorecard | Women's Live Scoring

Sunday's opening round will kickoff the sixth ODAC women's championship as the conference's newest sport continues to grow in ranks. Bridgewater College hoisted its second straight league trophy behind a wire-to-wire individual medal performance by ODAC Golfer of the Year and eventual national champion Christina Herbert (13-over 229). The Eagles finished at 983 (328-332-323), 50 strokes clear of runner-up Washington and Lee University.

For the second straight year, Herbert and W&L's Mary-Frances Hall finished 1-2 on the player leaderboard, although with a reversed result in 2017. Two season's ago, Hall won the individual medal by one stroke on the tournament's final hole, but Herbert flipped the finish last season with rounds of 72, 78, and 79 to post a score six strokes clear of Hall (79-78-78--235).

RELATED: 2017 ODAC Women's Championship Results

Both Hall and Herbert are among a talented field of 32 golfers in this season's championship and are half of the four competitors ranked inside the top-100 by Golfstat. Herbert, the reigning national champion, is slotted sixth in the latest rankings (4/18/18) published by Golfstat thanks to the league's best scoring average at 74.1. She has finished in the top-10 in all eight of her starts this season with seven top-five showings including three victories.

Hall has been nearly as good as she ranks 20th in the country. She has five top-10 showings in six events, with four top-fives including one victory to help her to a 76.8 average. Teammates Hannah Jones and Liza Freed are right behind her in average at 78.5 and 80.2, respectively. Jones, a freshman, is ranked 33rd in the country, while Freed ranks 57th in the country. Freed missed last season's ODAC championship due to injury, but still qualified as an individual for the NCAA Division III Championships. It was her second straight year competing on the national stage.

In Golfstat's team rankings, Washington and Lee is positioned 10th in Division III with Bridgewater slotted 47th and Randolph-Macon College 48th.

RELATED: ODAC Women's Golf Statistics | Golfstat Women's Player Rankings | Golfstat Women's Team Rankings

On the men's side, Guilford College lifted its 16th overall men's trophy with a wire-to-wire win thru the rain last season at Stoney Creek. The Quakers carded rounds of 294, 294, and 301 to win by 24 strokes at 889 over Washington and Lee (301-300-312--913). Both teams turned their strong ODAC performances into equally as impressive national tournament runs with the Quakers claiming Division III runner-up and the Generals chiming in 14th.

The 2017 ODAC individual medalist needed extra holes in the rain to determine. The Quakers' Josh Hill and Kell Graham tied at 2-over 218. Hill went 72-71 and Graham 73-70 in the first two rounds before both carded 75's over the final 18 holes. The duo didn't have to spend too much extra time in the rain as Hill registered a par on the second go-round on #18 to best Graham's bogey and earn the medal.

RELATED: 2017 ODAC Men's Championship Results

Eight men's players suiting up this weekend are ranked inside the top-100 by Golfstat. James Mishoe, who transferred to Guilford prior to the second semester, not only leads the ODAC with a 71.0 scoring average, but he tops the charts as the #1 golfer in Division III. Washington and Lee's Brian Peccie (72.4) sits fourth, while GC's Zach Evens (73.2) and Josh Hill (73.1) turn in at #36 and #41, respectively. Generals teammates Sean Puleo (74.2) and Luke Farley (74.8) sit 45th and 54th in the listing. Virginia Wesleyan University's Carter Morgan (74.3) is slotted 74th, while 2017 ODAC Player of the Year Parker Smith (74.2) from Hampden-Sydney College ranks 91st.

In the team standings, Guilford and Washington and Lee are separated by just six spots. The Quakers are ninth in the country, while the Generals sit 15th in Division III. They own the top two scoring averages in the ODAC at 292.6 and 296.8, respectively. Hampden-Sydney (299.0) sits 25th, while Virginia Wesleyan (302.7) ranks 46th. Lynchburg College (309.1) and Randolph-Macon (309.8) are tightly packed at 81st and 84th, respectively, while Bridgewater (307.6) holds down the 91st position.

RELATED: ODAC Men's Golf Statistics | Golfstat Men's Player Rankings | Golfstat Men's Team Rankings

For more information, visit the websites of the any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC’s championship website.  Don’t forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.

*Golfstat's rankings are current as of 4/18/18; the rankings are weighted based on a formula and do not use straight average to determine rank position.