Men's Golf Finishes 16th at NCAA II Championships

May 24, 2017

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Western Washington University men’s golf team finished play at the 2017 NCAA Division II Golf Championships in 16th place on Wednesday at Reunion Resort to conclude the 2016-17 season.

The Vikings battled windy conditions all day on the 7,054-yard, par 70 Watson Course, recording a final-round score of 24-over-par 304. It was the 13th-best score among the 20 teams in the final round, but wasn’t enough move into one of the top eight spots to qualify for match play. WWU ended the first round in 12th place and was in 17th place heading into today’s final round.

“Today’s round featured really tough conditions with brutal wind at times,” said head coach Luke Bennett. “The guys never gave up despite the harsh conditions and I am proud of them for that. Overall this year was a big improvement over last year and the years prior. It was special to have the entire roster play a par in this seasons success. It bodes well for the future of WWU golf.”

Senior Jeffrey Marcum (Richland, WA) completed his college career with a 3-over-par 73 on Wednesday to move into a tie for 57th place (+15, 225) in the 108-player field. Marcum’s score was tied for the 15th-best round of the day, which was highlighted by a string of three straight birdies on holes 6-7-8.

Freshman Ethan Casto (Snohomish, WA) turned in a 5-over-par 75 to finish the tournament tied with Marcum in 57th place in his first postseason event.

Sophomore Michael Butler (Sammamish, WA/Skyline) recorded WWU’s second-best score of the day at 4-over-par 74, turning in three of his seven tournament birdies in the round. Butler finished tied for 80th at 19-over-par 229.

“It was great to see Michael (Butler) and Ethan (Casto) finish with a couple of birdies in their last few holes,” added

Seniors Brett Johnson (Ridgefield, WA) and Chris Hatch (Mukilteo, WA/Kamiak) had a tough end to their college careers, both tying for 76th place at 18-over-par 228. Johnson turned in a final-round 83 (+13) and Hatch carded an 82 (+12) in uncharacteristic performances by both players. Johnson was at even-par for the first 31 holes of the tournament, but played the last 23 holes at 18-over-par.

“I am sure it is not the final collegiate scores Brett or Chris were looking for, but they both (along with Jeffrey Marcum) have done a lot for this program,” added Bennett on his senior trio that were all First Team All-GNAC and All-West Region selections. “They were instrumental in getting WWU golf back on the national stage. I can’t them enough for their hard work, commitment and leadership. Chris, Brett and Jeff’s shoes will be big ones to fill.”

The match play round will feature a Florida-heavy lineup, with the top five teams all hailing from the Sunshine State. Barry (+10, 850), Florida Southern (+13, 853), West Florida (+14, 854), Lynn (+26, 866), Florida Tech (+28, 868), Newberry College (+34, 874), Ferris State (+40, 880) and Arkansas Tech (+41, 881) will move on to match play starting tomorrow to determine the national champion.

Chandler Blanchet from West Florida, the top-ranked Division II player in the country entering the tournament, was crowned the individual national champion with a score of 1-under-par 209 (70-66-73) to edge Florida Southern’s John Coultas by one stroke.

Here is a complete listing of WWU’s competitors in the NCAA Division II Championships and the complete team leaderboard:

2017 NCAA Division II Championships
Reunion Resort – Watson Course (Par 70 – 7,054 Yards)

Pos.

Team/Player

To Par

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Total

16

Western Washington

+57

291

302

304

897

T57

Jeffrey Marcum

+15

75

77

73

225

T57

Ethan Casto

+15

73

77

75

225

T76

Brett Johnson

+18

70

75

83

228

T76

Chris Hatch

+18

73

73

82

228

T80

Michael Butler

+19

76

79

74

229

Pos.

Team

To Par

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Total

1.

Barry

+10

274

278

298

850

2.

Florida Southern

+13

280

282

291

853

3.

West Florida

+14

276

280

298

854

4.

Lynn

+26

294

282

290

866

5.

Florida Tech

+28

277

284

307

868

6.

Newberry College

+34

282

293

299

874

7.

Ferris State

+40

286

289

305

880

8.

Arkansas Tech

+41

299

293

289

881

9.

North Alabama

+42

287

295

300

882

10.

California Baptist

+43

292

290

301

883

 

Cal State Monterey Bay

+43

293

287

303

883

12.

Cal State East Bay

+46

293

292

301

886

13.

Le Moyne College

+53

283

296

314

893

14.

Central Missouri

+55

289

303

303

895

 

Stanislaus State

+55

289

300

306

895

16.

Western Washington

+57

291

302

304

897

17.

Lindenwood

+59

298

303

298

899

18.

St. Thomas Aquinas

+65

287

298

320

905

19.

Dominican College (NY)

+85

307

303

315

925

20.

Charleston

+92

312

302

318

932

NCAA History:
The Vikings made their 9th trip to the NCAA Division II Championships since making the move up from NAIA in 1999…here is a look at WWU’s finishes in the national championships:

  • 1999 (11th)
  • 2000 (T6th)
  • 2003 (11th)
  • 2004 (9th)
  • 2005 (9th)
  • 2008 (T8th)
  • 2012 (9th)
  • 2013 (Reached Semifinals in Match Play)
  • 2017 (16th)
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