Blog 353, 9/16/16 - Inauspicious Start for the Vikings

wwu2016-2017Despite the undoubted level of talent, and the high regard Willy Scholten has for his teammates, the Vikings got off to a slow start this week, coming in 13th out of 14 teams in their 2016/17 season opener - the Itani Quality Homes Collegite at Palouse Ridge.
The home of the Washington State University golf team in Pullman, Palouse Ridge played to a fairly intimidating 7,308 yards, far longer than the Bellingham GCC course the Vikings call home. Winds of 2-30mph buffeted the course too. The length, the wind, or early season nerves might have been to blame for the 45-over 897 total WWU posted to finish seven in front of San Jose State in 14th and last position, but 55 shots behind the winner - host school Washington State which finished the three rounds on ten-under 842.
The Vikings, one of just two Division II teams in the field (UBC the other), shot a 19-over 303 in Monday's first round and followed it with an afternoon 300. Fourth-year coach Luke Bennett admitted it had been a hard day. "It wasn't the start we were hoping for," he said. "The conditions were pretty windy, but we all played the same course and there were some good scores out there today."
Western did improve on day two, shooting a ten-over 294 but it wasn't enough to jump out of 13th place. "There were some stretches today where we showed what we are capable of," said Bennett. "But we need to tidy a few things up. We can take some good things away from today and build on that for the rest of the fall."
Chris Hatch and Brett Johnson led the Vikings on 11-over 224 to finish tied for 51st. Tied for 58th was Jeff Marcum who shot 226. Scholten tied for 66th on 230, while Michael Butler was tied for 73rd on 234.
The Vikings play again next week at the St Martin's Invitational at Olympic GCC. The 45th annual WWW Invitational will be held Sept. 26-27 at the Country Club.
Results here.

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