Blog 171, 10/25/11 - Viking Men and Women Celebrate Famous Victories

Dylan Goodwin
Tuesday was a good day for Western Washington golf with both the men's and women's teams pulling off memorable victories - the men coming back strongly after a disappointing first day to win the CSU Monterey Bay Otter Classic in a playoff against CSU Stanislaus, the women winning the Sonoma State Invitational by eleven shots with sophomore Claire Rachor earning medalist honors.
Ten shots out of the lead after rounds of 297 and 302 on day one at Black Horse GC in Seaside, Calif., the men's team found itself in ninth place in a field of 15 and seemingly too far back to mount any sort of challenge. However, a fantastic level par 288, the best round of the tournament by three strokes and made possible by Dylan Goodwin's superlative five-under 67, saw the Vikings finish the day tied for the lead with CSU Stanislaus which they beat at the second extra hole, recording a combined two-under-par for the hole against their opponent's one-under.
Goodwin's final round was made up of one eagle, five birdies, 11 pars and just one bogey. He jumped 18 places up the individual leaderboard eventually tieing for fourth on even-par 216.
"Dylan was phenomenal," said coach Steve Card. "He finally got back to playing like he can, firing the best round of the tournament on a very challenging course."
Sophomore Craig Crawford, playing in his first event on the road this season and only his second career collegiate tournament, had led the team at the end of day one shooting 148 for the two rounds and tieing for 13th. He stumbled to an 81 Tuesday finishing tied for 40th on 229 (+13), but thankfully his teammates found their form, none more so than Goodwin who shot his lowest round of the fall season bringing his average for the five events the team has played since the end of September down to 73.3.
Shooting respectable rounds of 74, 77 and 75 on the tough Black Horse layout, redesigned by Gene Bates in 2007, was Sandy Vaughan who finished tied for 26th, six places ahead of Nick Varelia who finished a shot further back on 227 (+11). Jake Webb, who has performed well so far this season, shot 228 and tied for 35th.
After finishing in the top three at each of its first four tournaments, WWU was eager for a victory heading into the winter break. "This is a great way to end the fall portion of our schedule, winning a tournament that included top teams from all over the country," said Card.
Winning medalist honors was Nova Southeastern's Ben Taylor who shot five-under 211 for the 54 holes.
Results here.

Claire Rachor
The women's team had an easier time of it at the Sonoma State Invitational played at the Santa Rosa GCC in Santa Rosa, Calif., opening up an impressive 17-shot lead after the first 18 holes and eventually emerging with an 11-stroke victory.
Western shot a final-round 314 for a 36-hole total of 613 after firing a seven-over-par 299 yesterday, its best round of the season.
Sophomore Claire Rachor tied for medalist honors with rounds of 73 and 75 on the 5,948-yard course while Sophie Elstrott was third on 151. Alex Taylor tied for sixth on 154, Kara Zitzman tied for 14th on 160, and Anna Bourland was T22 on 165.
This was the Vikings' third straight victory after wins at the Western Washington and St Martin's Invitationals. The team was fifth at the season-opening Grand Canyon University Invitational.
Naturally coach Bo Stephan was delighted with his team's performamce. "This is an awesome way to enter our off-season," he said. "We played tough against some very good teams."
The University of British Columbia finished second on 640.
Results here.

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