Vikings fifth, 12 strokes back, after first day at Grand Canyon Classic

Tim Feenstra

Oct. 3, 2005


GOODYEAR, Ari. - The nationally ranked Western Washington University men's golf squad is in fifth place, 12 strokes off the lead, entering Tuesday's final round at the 18-team Grand Canyon University Fall Classic being held at the Estrella Mountain Ranch Golf Course.

Western, ranked No.5 in the latest Golf Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25, had rounds of 287 and 291 on Monday for a 36-hole total of 578.

No.2-rated Cal State Bakersfield is the first-day leader at 10-under 566 (285-281), just one stroke ahead of host Grand Canyon (292-275), its second round score of 275 being the best of the day. St. Mary's TX is third at 569 (279-290) and Cal State Stanislaus is fourth at 570 (284-286).

"We played pretty well in the morning, but this afternoon we were just a little lethargic," said Western coach Steve Card. "We never really had that edge right from the start, and ended up shooting 3-over in some breezy conditions."

"Given the conditions, we didn't think that was a bad score, but we ended up getting lapped by a couple of schools, Grand Canyon shooting 13-under and Cal State Bakersfield 7-under in the afternoon ... We're not out of it, but we're going to have to play some of our best golf to win it."

Western's Tim Feenstra (Sr., Lynden) is in a three-way tied for third in medalist play at 2-under 140 (68-72) with D.J. Fernando (70-70) from Cal State Bakersfield and Blake Parks (72-68) from Grand Canyon. Ryan Thornberry from Cal State Stanislaus tops the leader board at 137 (69-68), one shot ahead of Greg McKuley (66-73) from St. Mary's.

Luke Bennett (Sr., Bellingham/Sehome) shot 142 (70-72) for the Vikings, and Sean Packer (So., Sumner/Auburn-Riverside) 144 (70-72). Rounding out Western's scores were Tommy Bullock (Fr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) 152 (77-75) and Sam Pauley (Jr., Everett/Kamiak) 158 (83-75).

The Vikings, who placed ninth at last spring's NCAA Division II National Championships after winning the West Regional, opened their season with victories at both the Saint Martin's and WWU tournaments.