Hudson Keener earns All-American status as Panthers finish 22nd at NCAA championships

Hudson Keener earns All-American status as Panthers finish 22nd at NCAA championships

Courtesy of LaGrange Daily News
HERSHEY, Pa. – There was no hesitation.

Bo Tiller left the scoring tent after turning in his scorecard following the final round of the NCAA Division III golf championship on Friday at the Hershey Links golf course. Tiller signed a scorecard that indicated he shot a 73.

As Tiller left the tent, he realized he may have signed an incorrect card. He went back in, saw that he signed for a 73 instead of the 74 he actually shot. As a result, Tiller was disqualified and his round was thrown out.

Tiller was the only one who realized the mistake, and had he not said anything, the 73 would have counted.

That is not the kind of man Tiller is, though, according to his coach.

"Being the person he is, he walked back in and said I think I signed an incorrect card," Lee Richter said. "He got disqualified. It was bad, but it shows the type of person Bo is. Nobody would have known but him. It shows Bo's character."

Without Tiller's round, the Panthers had to count the 88 shot by Hunter Keener. The Panthers dropped six shots in the team standings and finished 22nd.

The Panthers were led by Hudson Keener, who capped a terrific tournament with a 1-over 73. Keener finished tied for seventh, 10 shots behind the winning score posted by Tain Lee of Claremont Mudd Scripps, securing a spot on the Division III All-American team. Keener had rounds of 74, 75 and 68 leading up to Friday's final round.

"He had a really good tournament," Richter said.

Keener was at 3-under for his final round when he triple-bogeyed the par 4 15th hole.

"But he still shot a 73," Richter said. "A lot of players would take that."

Freshman Brian Moore carded a 76 on Friday on the heels of rounds of 81, 79 and 77. Adam Garrett, a junior from Troup High, was next with a 79 in the final round. Garrett struggled to an 86 on the first day, but he had rounds of 76 and 77 in the second and third rounds, respectively.

Freshman Hunter Keener had a difficult time of it on Friday. He shot a 38 on the front nine that included a birdie on the ninth hole, but he shot a 50 on the back side with four double bogeys and five bogeys. Keener also had rounds of 81, 74 and 80.

It was another successful season for the Panthers, who made it to the national tournament for the fourth straight season despite getting hit hard by graduation.

"Taking the graduation hit, losing five out of eight, we were fortunate to be in this position," Richter said. "We had to rebuild. To make it to nationals in a rebuilding year, we're fortunate."