Blog 239, 9/25/12 - Vikings Cruise to 17-Shot Home Win

Mark Strickland won his first college event.
With an eight-under 280, the Western Washington men's team won the 41st Viking Invitational at Bellingham Golf and Country Club by an impressive 17 shots Tuesday. It was the first time since 2006 that the home team has won the event. A handful of the West Region's top teams - 2011 NCAA Division II national champion Cal Monterey Bay, 2012 national finalist Chico State and 2012 national semifinalist Cal State Stanislaus - were missing, choosing to play in next week's Golfweek Invitational in Oregon instead, but even they would have had a hard time stopping the Vikings.
Holding a ten-stroke advantage heading into today's third and final round following successive 284s yesterday, the Vikings shot a best-of-the-tournament 280 to finish on 16-under 848 and the only team under par. The University of British Columbia came in second on 865, followed in third by Hawaii-Hilo on 867.
"It was a good tournament for us," said WWU coach Steve Card. "The guys played very solid from start to finish and we put together another under-par round. We've got a lot of depth and I think that showed, and the guys are playing good golf right now. I'm happy to win this event."
Not surprisingly, given the size of the gap between first and second in the final standings, WWU finished with three players in the top four. Jake Webb and Sandy Vaughan shared fourth on five-under 211 while Mark Strickland won his first collegiate event with a 54-hole total of seven-under 209.
"He's a bulldog," Card said of Strickland. "He smelled that opportunity and played very solidly down the stretch." Tied for second on 210 were British Columbia's Josh Zhang (68) and Grand Canyon's Mark Geddes (69).
The only surprising and slightly disappointing aspect of the tournament for the Vikings was the performance of Dylan Goodwin who so often leads the team but this week finished in a lowly tie for 26th on six-over 222. The other Viking in the team, Kyle Schrader, opened with a 79 Monday morning but improved with every round to wind up on ten-over 226 and tied for 38th.
Three Vikings also played as individuals - Evan Needham who shot three-over 219 and finished tied for 13th, Jack Kelly who was tied for 16th on 220, and Craig Crawford who wound up 43rd on 11-over-par.
Results here.

The WWU women's team, meanwhile, finished eighth at the Grand Canyon Fall Classic played on the Red Course at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield, Ariz. shooting 318 and 304 for a two-round total of 46-over 622. 
"I felt like we played a lot better today," said WWU coach Bo Stephan following Tuesday's play, "but we need a lot more work before our last two fall events. One of the things we need to have are faster starts."
Host Grand Canyon won the 17-team tournament by five strokes with a score of 603. Tying for second were Oklahoma Christian and Cal State San Marcos whose second-round 300 was the best of the tournament.  
For the second week in a row, freshman Kristen Hansen shot a fine second round (73) and finished in a tie for 10th alongside fellow Viking Anna Bourland on seven-over 151. Claire Rachor tied for 30th on 157, Katya Case tied for 57th on 164, and Kara Zitzman was 63rd on 167. Tying for medalist honors at 2-under 142 were Oklahoma Christian's Anna Arrese Cortadellas and Charlotte Jaengkit of Grand Canyon.
Results here.

Matt Rawitzer's Oregon State University team won the Mark Simpson Invitational at Colorado National GC in Erie, Colo. Tuesday by two shots over host Colorado. Rawitzer tied for 52nd individually shooting rounds of 78, 69 and 75 for a six-over-par total of 222.

Don't forget the Three-Ring Circus will be played at Lake Padden this coming Saturday (29th). Click here for the format and rules.  


Add comment

Security code