Blog 62, 9/29/10 - Vikings Tie for Second at Bellingham GCC

Sandy Vaughn
Western Washington really should have won the Viking Invitational at Bellingham Golf and Country Club this week, and gone 2 for 2 at the start of the 2010-2011 season. The win at the St Martin's Invitational at the weekend gave the team a lot of confidence heading into this week's event which it hosted on a course the players know so well.
But after beginning the final round tied for the lead with CSU Monterey Bay on level-par 576, two shots clear of Chico State and Sonoma State which were tied for third, the Vikings could do no better than a two-over 290 which allowed Chico State to leapfrog them and win by a single stroke in what was perhaps the closest finish in the tournament's 39-year history.
Coach Steve Card was naturally disappointed. "We were right there, but just never got anything going," he said. "It's our home course. The guys have been playing well out there and it was in absolutely perfect condition for scoring. But we failed to post a single score in the 60s from our top five. We struggled the entire time, and to come up short knowing that you didn't play to your potential is tough."
Western's best score of the day was turned in by sophomore Sandy Vaughn who shot a two-under 70 to finish the tournament tied for fifth on 214 (-2). Dylan Goodwin (T16) and Xavier Dailly (T22) both had 73s, while Nick Varelia (T16) and Patrick Boag (T29) each shot 74.
The day wasn't a complete washout for the Vikings, however, as junior Brian Barhanovich, playing as an individual, shot an even-par 72 to tie for medalist honors on 207 (-9) with Sonoma State's Patrick Bauer. And Sam Ayotte, also playing as an individual, had a two-under 70 to finish third on 209 (-7). 
Completing Western's scoring were three more individual players - Thomas Jun who began the day tied for third with Ayotte but fell away with an 80 to finish tied for 22nd, Adam Brisben who shot three 77s to finish T64 and Evan Needham who closed with a 75 to come in tied for 72nd.
Scores here.

It was announced Wednesday that Western is ranked number one in the latest Golfstat/NCAA Division II rankings, ahead of Abilene Charistian and Chico State. The team's third event of the season is the Grand Canyon Fall Invitational in Arizona, next Monday and Tuesday. It'll be interesting to see if Barhanovich and Ayotte get a call-up.

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