(RMC Athletics photo)

(RMC Athletics release)

SILVIS, Ill. – The Rocky Mountain College men’s golf team couldn’t match the low scores they shot on Wednesday, but the Battlin’ Bears played well enough to make the cut at the 2018 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships on Thursday at TPC Deere Run.

Rocky slipped two positions into a tie for 14th after shooting 297 on Thursday. They were 13-over in the round despite posting another 13 birdies among the five players. At 884 through three rounds, the team is within six strokes of the top 10.

Rocky’s 43 birdies through three rounds ranks sixth in the 29-team field. They are 19th with 145 total pars and sit among 13 teams with at last one eagle.

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Colton Murphy made a jump up the leaderboard during a third round that saw the junior shoot 1-under 70. He climbed up 26 spots to a tie for 28th with a round that featured four birdies. He played the back nine – his first nine holes – and even par before posting 1-under on the front. Murphy is 4-over for the tournament with 217 strokes.

Mitchell Thiessen had a round of 74 (+3) on Thursday to end the day is a tie for 82nd at 11-over 224. He made three birdies during today’s round and played the back nine at even par.

Reece Nilsen shot even par on the front nine to finish with a round of 4-over 75. He made birdies on No. 1 and No. 15 and closed the round with seven consecutive pars. For the week, Nilsen is tied for 85th at 12-over 225.

Michael Tait struggled through a third round that saw the sophomore make just two birdies and finish the day with a 7-over 78. Tait still ranks tied for 10th with 12 birdies during the tournament and his 8-over 221 is good for a tie for 57th.

HoTae Kim overcame a tough start to shoot 1-under on the front nine to end the day at 8-over 79. He is currently tied for 120th at 22-over 235.

Oklahoma City moved into the lead after shooting 8-under 276 on Thursday. They hold an eight stroke lead over Dalton State and Coastal Georgia.

Dalton State’s S.M. Lee shot 5-under 67 to open a five stroke lead at 10-under 203. Rupert Kaminski from Oklahoma City and Ben Kendrick of University of the Cumberlands are tied for second at 5-under 208.

The Battlin’ Bears will tee off at 7:24 a.m. MT on Friday in the final round of the tournament. They will be paired with Point University and Holy Cross.

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