Blog 203, 5/17/12 - Vikings' Season Ends with Ninth Place Finish at National Championship

Craig Crawford; final round 70.
Only the top eight teams after three rounds of strokeplay advance to the medal-matchplay stage at the NCAA Division II National Championship. Western Washington entered the tournament seeded eighth in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division II College Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, but completed the strokeplay section Thursday on ten-over-par 876 and in ninth place. It meant the Vikings's season was over.
It could have been very different. WWU began the second day in third place and the third day in seventh place. But a third round 296 saw them drop below South Carolina-Aiken which finished seventh on 870, and Central Missouri which came in one solitary shot ahead of Western.
On the final hole, Dylan Goodwin had a six-foot birdie putt that would have forced a play-off with Central Missouri, but it slid by. No one could blame Goodwin though as the junior from Mukilteo had birdied two of the previous three holes.
The best round of the day for the Vikings came from Craig Crawford whose two-under 70 gave him a 54-hole total of one-over 217 and a tie for 25th in the individual standings. Joining him on 217 was Sandy Vaughan who shot a final round 73. Goodwin tied for 33rd after a 76, and Nick Varelia wound up in 61st place on 224, after a 77. Jake Webb had a disappointing 81 to finish tied for 83rd on 231.
“We really struggled today,” said WWU coach Steve Card. “It was a disappointing finish and a disappointing day. I feel bad for the kids. To see it end by one shot, that hurt.”
Chico State won the medal part of the tournament with a three-round total of 14-under 851. Nova Southeastern jumped into second place with a best-of-the-day 280, and Central Oklahoma, which led after day one, was third, a shot behind Nova, on 856.
Central Oklahoma's Josh Creel won the individual title after beating Colorado School of Mines's Jim Knous on the first extra hole after the pair had completed regulation play locked on ten-under-par 216.
Scores here.

Bennett Advances to Sectional Qualifying
Bennett; through to sectional. 
With a fine one-over 73, Lake Padden's Director of Instruction Luke Bennett finished in a tie for fourth at today's US Open local qualifier at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, and has progressed to sectional qualifying on June 4th. Bennett shot halves of 36 and 37 on Suncadia's tough 7,261-yard Rope Rider Course and will likely go for his spot in the final US Open field at Emerald Valley GC in Creswell, Ore., the nearest of the 11 sectional qualifying sites in the US (there are also sites in Japan and England).
Two good rounds there and the former Viking could well be going up against Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald at the Olympic Club in San Francisco from June 14-17.
Sadly, Sudden Valley's Tyler Wong didn't advance shooting a 78 to finish tied for 36th alongside WWU freshman Jack Kelly. Former Viking Sean Packer shot 79 to finish tied for 43rd.  
Scores here.
Bennett's scorecard here.

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