Despite strong finish, Western second at GCU Invitational

Chris Anderson

Oct. 5, 2004

Complete Results

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - With three players shooting under par, nationally ranked Western Washington University made up four strokes, but it wasn't enough as the Vikings placed second at the Grand Canyon University Fall Men's Golf Invitational which ended Tuesday at the Estrella Mountain Ranch Golf Course.

The Vikings, No.2 in the first Golfstat/NCAA Division II rating, shot a final-round 283, the best of the day, to finish with a 54-hole total of 855 in the 18-team tournament, three strokes behind Cal State Bakersfield, which took top honors for the second straight year.

The Roadrunners, who led Western by seven strokes after 36 holes Monday, took top honors at 852, shooting 287 Tuesday. Twelve strokes separated the Vikings from third-place Cal State San Bernardino (291=867), with host Grand Canyon fourth (286=868).

"We were going toe-to-toe with Cal State Bakersfield most of the day, and picked up a few shots on the last half-dozen holes," said Western coach Steve Card. "Unfortunately, it was just a little too big of a hole to dig out of, but I'm certainly proud of how the team played this tournament.

"That's back-to-back tournaments shooting 9-under par. We're playing very solidly right now, and we had the best last 36 holes on the golf course, shooting 280 and 283. If I had to point my finger at one area why we may not have won this event, it was our par-3 play in the first round."

The Vikings' Chris Anderson (Sr., Oak Harbor/Papillion LaVista) fired a 3-under 69, Tim Feenstra (Jr., Lynden) 70 and Luke Bennett (Jr., Bellingham/Sehome) 71.

Bennett, who shot his fourth straight subpar round, and Feenstra, who shot a second-round 66 that tied the best of the tournament, finished in a four-way tie for third place at 211. Anderson tied for 11th at 215. Casey Granston (Sr., Seattle/Roosevelt) shot 73 for Western, tying for 36th at 222; and Josh Immordino (Sr., Kent/Kentwood) shot 76 to tie for 31st at 221.

"I was particularly proud of Casey (Granston) stepping up," Card said. "He shot 2-under 34 on the back nine, and his 73 ended up counting for us. He has a role on this team, and he fulfilled that role today."

Texas Wesleyan's Scott Sikes took medalist honors, overcoming a two-shot first-day deficit to win by two strokes, shooting 70 for a 207 total. First-day leader Robert Mink from Cal State San Bernardino finished second at 209 (74).

Western, which has placed second in its last two tourneys,competes in the Chico State University Invitational next Monday and Tuesday.