Western ties for top honors at Grand Canyon Fall Invitational
Oct. 6, 2009
GOODYEAR, Arizona - Two Western Washington University sophomores, Nick Varelia (Kent/Kentwood) and Brian Barhanovich (Everett), placed second and third, respectively, in medalist play, leading the Vikings to a tie for the team title at the Grand Canyon University Men's Golf Fall Invitational Tournament, which ended Tuesday at The Golf Club of Estrella.
It was the first regular-season championship for the Vikings since 2006, a stretch of 25 events. They tied for first with Oklahoma City in the 18-team field, each having a 54-hole total of 863, after shooting a final-round 1-over par 289, and got the first-place trophy by having the best fifth-man score.
Western held a three-stroke lead over Oklahoma City following 36 holes Monday. The Stars closed out the tourney with a 2-under 286.
"It's been a long time," said Western coach Steve Card (16th year). "We played pretty solid today and hung on at the end as we let a couple shots slip away."
"We had four guys in the top 10, so it was a great event from that standpoint ... We've shown through over first three tournaments that our strength is going to be as a team from one through five."
Chico State placed third at 866 (286) and Colorado-Colorado Springs was fourth at 878 (292).
The Vikings' Varelia fired a 2-under 70 to finish second at 213, and Barhanovich shot an even par 72 to place third at 214. Taking medalist honors at 208 with a final-round 69 was Oklahoma City's Julian Valenciana.
In all, Western had four players finish among the top 10. Xavier Dailly (Jr., Burlington/Burlington-Edison) (72) and Julian Peters (Sr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) (75) tied for eighth at 218 with Doug Manske (76) from Fort Lewis.
The Vikings' Sam Ayotte (Jr., Corvallis, OR/Crescent Valley) tied for 63rd at 236, his final-round 77 beating out the 79 by Oklahoma City's Clark Collier to give Western the winner's trophy.
The Vikings shot an opening-round 291 on Monday morning, but followed it with a 5-under 283 in the afternoon, the best round of the tourney.
Western concludes the fall portion of its schedule on Oct. 19-20, competing in the Sonoma State Invitational.
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