Blog 74, 10/27/10 - Vikings; Best Team in Division II?

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The Vikings
With three wins and a second from its four fall tournaments, it's really not surprising the Western men's golf team is ranked No. 1 among Division II schools by Golfstat. And its No. 4 ranking in the latest Golf Coaches Association of America Golf World/Nike Golf Top 25 is the best in school history.
The team began by winning the St Martin's Collegiate at Olympia CC by five shots. Xavier Dailly was medalist with a 54-hole total of 206 (-7). At the Viking Invitational at Bellingham GCC three days later, it wasn't so much the varsity team that shone as the individuals who, had they been teamed together, would have led by nine shots at the end of the first day. Junior Brian Barhanovich led in the individual standings after equalling the course record with a 64 in the first-round and following it with a 71. Sam Ayotte and Thomas Jun both shot 69, 70 to be tie for third. The team itself was tied for lead with CSU-Monterey Bay on even-par 576. An indifferent two-over 290 in the final-round saw the Vikings finish a stroke behind Chico State in probably the most exsciting finish in the event's 39-year history. Barhanovich shot a closing 72 to tie for medalist honors with Sonoma State's Patrick Bauer on nine-under 207, and Ayotte came in third after a final-round 70. Top finisher on the team was Sandy Vaughn who posted two-under 214.
At the Grand Canyon Fall Invitational in Goodyear, AZ the following week, WWU dominated, winning by 20 strokes on even-par 864. Transfer Dylan Goodin was medalist on six-under 210 after shootingInvitational in Hawaii where  an opening nine-under 63. Dailly was third, three shots back. And in Chico, Calif., two weeks ago, the team won the Chico State Wildcat Classic by ten on the tough Butte Creek CC with a three-round total of 16-over 880.
Seven of the school's 13-man squad have represented the Vikings so far this season, but only two - Xavier Dailly and Dylan Goodwin have played all four tournaments. Dailly has a stroke average of 71.25 while Goodwin is very slightly behind on 71.42. Four players - Brian Barhanovich (72.22), Patrick Boag (72.33), Sandy Vaughn (73.33), and Nick Varelia (73.33) - have played three, while Sam Ayotte (72.33) has played two. Thomas Jun, Adam Brisben, and Evan Needham turned out as indivuduals at the Viking Invitational. Redshirt freshman Craig Crawford and freshman Mark Strickland have yet to make their 2010-'11 debuts.
The Vikings next tee it up at the Waikoloa Invitational in Hawaii where the field will feature seven top-ten Division 1 teams including the top-ranked team in the country, Oklahoma State.

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