Blog 295, 3/5/14 - Vikings Make Disappointing Start to Spring Season

Chris Hatch
The Spring portion of the 2013-2014 season started slowly for the Western Washington University men's team this week with a tie for 10th at the St. Edward's University Invitational played at Grey Rock GC in Austin, Texas.
Poor weather shortened the 54-hole event to just two rounds in which the Vikings posted 311 and 300 to finish on 35-over 611 and 41 shots behind winner Barry, the No. 1-ranked team in Division II.
Western's Mark Strickland was tied for second after an excellent one-under 71 in tough conditions on Monday when the temperature barely rose above 30 degrees, but ballooned to an 86 in yesterday's second round that saw him drop into a tie for 60th.
"I always seem to play well in tougher conditions," Strickland told us this morning. "I struggled yesterday when the weather was a little better. I think it was mostly mental, but the greens weren't the purest to say the least, and I started letting that get in my head."
Mark Strickland
The junior from Mukilteo added that his iron play also let him down. "It was giving me trouble all day, and caused a spiral of bogeys plus a quad on the 3rd which was the result of a series of unfortunate events."
Barry not surprisingly had the lowest round of the tournament - a 274 in round two (a school record) that saw the Buccaneers finish on six-under 570 and 13 shots clear of second-place Cal State Monterey. Western New Mexico was third on 589, and Cal State Stanislaus fourth on 595.
Chris Hatch was the highest-placed Western player tieing for 26th on 150. Jack Kelly tied for 35th on 152, Kyle Schrader finished T54 on 156, and redshirt freshman Kyle Lindor tied for 83rd on 169.
The individual winner was Barry's Adam Svensson who completed the 36 holes on ten-under-par 134 following rounds of 69 and 65.
The Vikings next compete at the Cal Baptist Invitational on March 24-25 by which time Strickland believes he and the team will be much sharper. "This was our first tournament since October," he said, "and because of the weather, none of us were able to prepare properly. We are all fired up now though. I hate to lose and guarantee you will see the Vikings and me start contending for titles real soon."
Results here.


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