PALM COAST, Fla. ' Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma City University's lead shrank from six to two on a rainy day at the NAIA Men's Golf National Championships presented by Cingular Wireless at Matanzas Woods Golf Club. The Stars, 879 for three rounds, shot a 296 during a round suspended by lightning, and finished at dusk.
The Master's College (Calif.) stands alone in second place at 881 after shooting 292 today. Berry College (Ga.), who entered the day tied with The Master's and Johnson & Wales University (Fla.), shot 293 to stand three shots back in third place. A 299 by Johnson & Wales puts them nine shots back at 888 and one shot ahead of Oklahoma Christian University.
Oklahoma Christian shot an impressive even-par 288 in the stormy conditions. Senior Diego Fernandez led the Eagles with a three-under par 69.
Oklahoma City freshman Nicolas Allain, who has led all three rounds, shot a one-under par 71 to move to five-under, 211. He leads Joe Chally of The Master's (Calif.) and Zane Goldthorp of Berry (Ga.) by one shot as each carded a 70. Indiana Wesleyan University junior Todd Chin and University of Victoria (B.C.) sophomore Todd Halpen are tied in fourth at one-over par, 217.
For the second straight day, the top round was a five-under par 67. Today's hero was Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) freshman Tyler Sharpe. Sharpe led the Blue Raiders to a 291, which vaulted the Blue Raiders from 20th to 14th, and into tomorrow's final round as the top 17 teams make the third-round cut.
The shot of the day came from Jamestown College (N.D.) sophomore Rob Walz. He scored a hole-in-one on the 165-yard third hole and recorded the first ace of the tournament.
Final round play begins Friday at 8 a.m. at Matanzas Woods. A 54-hole cut of the top 17 teams and top 40 individuals was made following todays round.