March 6, 2012
VALLEJO, Calif. -
Nick Varelia (Sr., Kent/Kentwood) placed third in medalist play and teammate Dylan Goodwin (Jr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) tied for seventh as nationally ranked Western Washington University finished fourth among 13 teams at the Cal State University East Bay Men's Golf Pioneer Shootout which ended Tuesday at the Hiddenbrooke Golf Club.
It is the first time this season that the Vikings, ranked No.8 in the latest Golf Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, had finished lower than third in a tournament. In third place with an eight-shot cushion after Monday's first two rounds, they shot 313 for a 54-hole total of 919, finishing one shot behind Cal State Monterey Bay (918), which shot 302, the best round of the day.
Host Cal State East Bay entered Tuesday's play in second place, seven shots behind leader Grand Canyon. The Pioneers not only overcame that with a final-round 306, but won by seven strokes over the runner-up Antelopes (320), 907 to 914.
"It was a disappointing performance all the way around for us," said WWU coach Steve Card (19th year). "The weather conditions were tough with gusting winds, but it was not a good tournament for us from top to bottom."
Varelia shot 78 to finish third at 10-over par 226. Cal State East Bay's Chris Herzog took medalist honors at 221 (78), two shots ahead of second-place Brandon Moore (80-223) from Grand Canyon. Herzog and Moore were tied for first after 36 holes Monday.
Goodwin shot 82 to tie for seventh at 228.
Jake Webb (Jr., Issaquah/Skyline) had WWU's best round of the day, shooting 74 to tie for 12th at 230. Brian Barhanovich (Sr., Everett) tied for 35th at 236 (80) and Evan Needham (Jr., Lynden/Meridian) placed 52nd at 244 (81).
The tourney was the Vikings first of the spring. They placed among the top three in all five of their fall tournaments.
WWU does not compete again for three weeks, next participating in the Grand Canyon Spring Invitational on March 26-27.