With 18 holes left to play, a tight race for the American Midwest Conference championship team title is developing at Dalhousie Country Club in Cape Girardeau.
Two rounds of golf Monday wern’t enough to put more than three strokes between the top-three teams at the event. And Columbia College men’s golf is right in the middle of the action.
The Cougars followed a first-round 18-over 306 with a 14-over 302 to enter the third and final round in second place at 32 over — two strokes behind leaders Missouri Baptist at 30 over, and one stroke ahead of third-placed William Woods at 33 over.
Columbia jumped firmly into the title mix in Round 2. Its second round was the second lowest of the session and seven strokes lower than Missouri Baptist’s afternoon 21-over 309. The Spartans will be looking to go wire-to-wire in the team event, as their first-round 9-over 297 was the lowest of the day.
Two Cougars are also within touching distance of the individual title.
Cameron VanLeer led the scoring for Columbia during Monday’s play. He will enter the final round of play four strokes behind leader Logan Smith (William Woods) after posting a 2-over 74 in Round 1 and a 3-over 75 in Round 2. VanLeer is tied for fourth at 5 over for the event.
One stroke further back and close enough to challenge Smith for the individual title is CC’s Noah Wilson. His 2-over 74 was tied for second lowest in the second round, and followed 4-over 76 to put him sixth on the leaderboard and five strokes off the clubhouse lead.
Tanner Elder is the third Columbia player to finish the day in the top 10. He matched Wilson’s 74 in Round 2 to climb eight places into a tie for 10th after posting a 7-over 79 in the first round.
Laithan Sublette is 13 over and tied for 16th after 36 holes, signing for a 5-over 77 and an 8-over 80.
Jesper Holke-Farnam rounds out the Columbia contingent at the event in a tie for 19th. He posted back-to-back 7-over 79s to end the day in a tie for 19th.
The Cougars have never won an AMC title, while their two main rivals for the trophy have won a combined 13 of the past 14 championships. William Woods has 10 titles, Missouri Baptist has three.
Columbia will return to the course Tuesday for the final 18 holes of play.