May 15, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
One of the just three teams to shoot below par on opening day, the Western Washington University men's golf team is third at the NCAA II National Championships which began Tuesday at The Cardinal Club.
Making their first national appearance since 2008, the Vikings shot 1-under 287. Central Oklahoma leads the 20-team field at 9-under 279 with UNC Pembroke second at 3-under 285. Tied for fourth at 1-over 289 are Chico State and Georgia College.
"It was a good solid start for us," said WWU coach Steve Card (19th year). "Everybody played well. We had some disappointing holes, but overall everyone played solid golf today ... Maybe not scoring-wise, but this was one of the better days we've had this year."
"But it's a marathon and we'll be back at it in 13 hours."
WWU, which advanced to nationals with a fourth-place finish at the Central/West Regional, was led by Sandy Vaughan (Jr., Seattle/O'Dea) and Craig Crawford (So., Stanwood/Highland Christian), who each fired 1-under 71s on the 7,092-yard layout. They are in a 10-way tie for 14th in medalist play.
Vaughan birdied three holes and had two bogeys, and Crawford had five birdies and four bogeys.
The Vikings' Dylan Goodwin (Jr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) shot an even par 72 and is tied for 24th. Jake Webb (Jr., Issaquah/Skyline) shot 1-over 73 and is tied for 37th and Nick Varelia (Sr., Kent/Kentwood), who led WWU by tying for fifth at regionals, shot 4-over 76 and is tied for 73rd.
Goodwin birdied four of his first nine holes and made the turn in 3-under, but was hurt by a double-bogey and a bogey on the back nine.
Webb and Varelia were both 1-under on the first nine. Webb had two birdies on the back nine, but they were offset by two bogeys and one double bogey. Two double bogeys and a bogey hurt Varelia on the final nine holes.
Central Oklahoma's Josh Creel leads the medalist standings after shooting a 7-under 65. He is three shots ahead of Zack Kempa from Indiana PA.