PORTLAND, Ore. – Heading into the final round of last week’s Mustang Intercollegiate in 6th place, Western Washington men’s golf shaved 7 strokes off its third round score to end the 20-team tournament in a tie for 3rd place. The impressive final round not only gives the Vikings their best finish of the spring, but hands them this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week honor.
Playing in its final tournament before the GNAC Championships, Western Washington carded an 11-under par 274 in the final round to finish in a tie with Colorado-Colorado Springs (-19, 845) at 19-under-par for the tournament.
“I am very proud of how the guys played from start to finish this week,” said head coach Luke Bennett. “To shoot three under-par team scores and to save our 11-under for the final round was so great to see.”
The 11-under-par final round is tied for the 7th-lowest relative to par in program history (since 1993-94) and the 54-hole total of 19-under-par is tied for 3rd-lowest in the program record book.
Junior Cody Roth (Bellingham, WA) paced all GNAC golfers in the tournament by finishing in a 6th-place tie after carding a 9-under par 207. Roth combined to shoot 7-under par on the opening day before closing his account with a 70 in the final round. Freshman Brody Bonfilio (Boise, ID/Bishop Kelly) finished one stroke behind Roth, tying for 8th place. Like Roth, Bonfilio combined to shoot 7-under par in the first two rounds. The duo has combined for seven top-10 and three top-5 finishes this season.
Entering the final round three strokes over par, sophomore Ethan Casto (Snohomish, WA) carded an unprecedented 8 birdies to claim an 8-under par 64. He ended the tournament in a tie for 13th place (5-under par 211). Casto’s round tied for the 3rd-lowest in program history, both relative to par and overall score.
“A bogey-free round is always a great feat, but to go bogey-free with eight birdies is so special,” said Bennett. “Ethan’s round was phenomenal. Great tournaments by Cody and Brody as well.”
Senior Adam Barker (Gig Harbor, WA/Peninsula/Olympic College) closed out the Western Washington scorers by shooting 3-over par 219. His best round came in the finale as he finished even-par.
Bonfilio is third in the GNAC with a 73.3 stroke average while junior Michael Butler (Sammamish, WA/Skyline) remains seventh with 74.2 strokes per round. Casto and Roth each maintain a 74.4 stroke average while Barker comes in at 74.5. Western Washington has also combined to lead the GNAC with 14 top-10 finishes this year.
Western Washington will join the rest of the conference at the GNAC Championships on April 23-24 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. In last year’s event, the Vikings came away with the team title after edging Simon Fraser by one stroke.
The men’s golf team becomes the fourth WWU program to earn GNAC Team of the Week honors in 2017-18, joining men’s soccer (Sept. 18-24), women’s soccer (Oct. 30-Nov. 5) and men’s basketball (Dec. 25-Jan. 1).
Cody Roth to Appear on GNAC Insider:
Fresh off being named the GNAC Men’s Golfer of the Week, junior Cody Roth will be a guest on Tuesday night’s GNAC Insider beginning at 7 pm. Fans can listen online to the interview via the GNAC Insider podcast site.
Content provided by Rhys Lendio/GNAC Communications
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