MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. - - Wilmington University golfer Ryan Rucinski finished off his junior season with the third round of the NCAA Division II National Championship on Wednesday, shooting an even par 72 to close out his three-day total of 224 (+8) to finish in a tie for 63rd overall on the Fighting Joe Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals.
Rucinski rebounded nicely from his opening round, posting scores of 82-70-72 for his 224 (+8). He finished in a seven-way tie for 63rd overall.
Starting on the back nine, Rucinski got off to a hot start, sinking par putts on the first three he played. He came away with a birdie on the par three 13th and followed it up with another birdie on the par four 14th. Four more pars rounded out his back nine, making the turn with a 34 (-2).
Rucinski got as low at three-under par on the round, sinking a birdie on the par five first hole. Two more pars kept him at three under before a hiccup on the par four fourth. HE finished with a triple bogey on the fourth, bringing his round back to even par. A bogey on the par four six had him at one over par, but Rucinski fought back with a birdie on the par four eighth to get back to even par on the day. He finished his round, and his season, with a par on the par three ninth, finishing the day at 72 even par.
Rucinski finished in a tie for 17th for the tournament with 12 birdies in three rounds.
Florida Southern's John VanDerLaan, the number one player in the country, overcame Barry's Jorge Garcia's one stroke lead coming into the final round. VanDerLaan won the individual national championship with a 65 on Wednesday, finishing the tournament with rounds of 66-68-65 for a 199 (-17). Garcia was second with a 203 (-13) while Saint Leo's Oliver Lilliedahl rounded out the top three with a 204 (-12).
The top eight teams after the three stroke play days advance to championship match play starting on Thursday. Florida Southern won the team title with an 840 (-24) while Barry finished second with an 846 (-18). Lynn finished third at 848 (-16). The other teams competing in match play are West Florida, Indianapolis, Arkansas Tech, Saint Leo, and Lincoln Memorial.