FOLEY, Ala. — Mississippi Gulf Coast needed to go low in Wednesday's third round of the NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship, and the Bulldogs did just that.
Brice Wilkinson (Fr. Madison Central/Madison) and Carter Nicholson (Fr., Pearl River Central/Carriere) shot 3-under 69s, and Jackson Wedgeworth (So., West Jones/Soso) was 2-under and Gulf Coast moved closer to the lead.
"It was a great day," coach Tommy Snell said. "Jackson and Brice played really well. I'm really proud of my freshman, Carter Nicholson, shooting 3-under today. He made one bogey all day."
The Bulldogs are six shots behind new leader Parkland, which fired an 11-under to move to 1-over for the tournament. Meridian shot even-par and is in second place by two shots.
Nicholson shot 3-under on the front nine and made another birdie and a bogey. Snell had told him this was the day he needed a 68 from him.
"Dadgum, he almost did it," said Snell.
"Putts were really going in today," he said. "That was the difference from today and yesterday. I hit the ball pretty good, was in a lot of fairways. I put myself in position for a lot of birdies. Me and Brad (Thornton, assistant coach) worked as a team together and read a lot of putts. It was my day to make a good run at it and make a good score."
Wilkinson had a hot streak on the hardest stretch of the course to help propel the Bulldogs up the leaderboard.
"Those are some of the hardest holes on the course, but when you get in the zone you get in the zone," he said. "I had three easy short birdie putts and made it happen."
The teams endured a pair of weather delays caused by pop-up storms with lightning. There was a 75-minute delay starting at 11:30 a.m., and a 40-minute break starting at 4:40 p.m.
Gulf Coast remains in position to make a run at the national championship.
"We definitely have a chance," Snell said. "Look what Parkland did today. It can be done. Brice seems to have it going on now."
NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship
GlenLakes Golf Club
|1. Parkland||291-297-277—865 (+1)|
|2. Meridian||294-285-288—867 (+3)|
|3. Gulf Coast||291-297-283—871 (+7)|
|4. South Mountain||299-290-285—874 (+10)|
|5. Abraham Baldwin||297-301-284—882 (+18)|
|T8. Jackson Wedgeworth||72-73-70—215 (-1)|
|10. Brice Wilkinson||73-74-69—216 (E)|
|T15. Carter Nicholson||77-75-69—221 (+5)|
|T27. Colby Entriken||73-75-75—223 (+7)|
|37. Colby Blake||73-77-75—225 (+9)|
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