April 17, 2014
PORTLAND, Ore. - With five combined individual golfers in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference top-10, Western Washington and Simon Fraser head into next week's championships as the top men's golf teams in the conference.
The 2013-14 GNAC Men's Golf Championships, set to be played at the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, run Monday and Tuesday next week. With less than five strokes separating the five teams, the table is set for a competitive three-round men's tournament. Results will be posted online after every nine rounds of play.
Entering the championships with a conference-leading team score of 298.4, Western Washington, which has won the first six GNAC crowns, is coming off a fifth place finish in its most recent competition. The Vikings shot a three-round total of 891 (294-300-297) earlier this week at the Cal State Stanislaus Invitational, finishing in the top tier of the 19-team field.
WWU junior Kyle Schrader earned Red Lion Golfer of the Week honors, after finishing in eighth place at the tournament with a 4-over par 220 (70-76-74). Close behind Schrader in a tie for ninth place was teammate Craig Crawford (221, 73-75-73), who is averaging a score of 72.2 through six rounds of play this season.
Schrader currently ranks tied for third in the GNAC with an average round score of 74.8. Mark Strickland is WWU's other golfer in the GNAC top-10, logging an eighth-best average round score of 75.1 on the 2013-14 season.
Averaging a team score of 299.7, Simon Fraser is the other GNAC team below the 300 mark on the season. Senior Mike Belle is currently pacing the conference with an average round of 73.7, and led SFU with a 13th-place finish at the Cal State Stanislaus Invitational this week (222, 72-72-78). As a team, SFU finished in 11th place at this week's tournament and third among the five GNAC schools competing with a score of 917 (306-297-314).
Bursting onto the scene this season for SFU has been freshman Kevin Vigna, who is tied for the third-lowest score in the GNAC at 74.8. Also in the top-10 for the Clan is Bret Thompson, who checks in tied for eighth with a score of 75.3 per round.
Montana State Billings has posted the third-best team score thus far in 2013-14, with a team average round of 300.1. The Yellowjackets' Gage Huft is tied for third in the conference individually, averaging a score of 74.8 per round. Huft has logged three top-5 finishes, and teammate Brad Harrelson has finished in the top-5 four times in eight competitions this season. Harrelson is in sixth place in the GNAC with an average round of 74.9.
Austin Westphal and Marcus Drange are also in the top-10 for MSUB. Westphal is tied for eighth with a score of 75.3, and Drange is No. 10 at 75.4. The `Jackets finished in 16th place at the Cal State Stanislaus Invitational that ran Monday and Tuesday, with a team score of 939 (311-309-319).
Paced by senior Nick Hardy, Northwest Nazarene is averaging a team score of 301.8 on the 2013-14 season. Individually, Hardy ranks second in the conference with an average score of 74.7, and has four top-10 finishes. Hardy made headlines in the fall of 2013 by winning the Sonoma State Invitational, shooting a 5-under par 211 (74-69-68) on Oct. 14-15.
Michael Delie and Ian Briske have a pair of top-10 tournament finishes each for the Crusaders, and both golfers are averaging a single round score of 75.9. NNU posted a strong finish in this week's tournament, checking in at No. 11 and finishing second among GNAC teams at Cal State Stanislaus at 914 (301-305-308).
In fifth place in the GNAC with a team score of 303.2, Saint Martin's tied for 13th at the CSUS Invitational, with a team score of 920 (298-307-315). Leading the Saints this season have been Patrick Whealdon and Ryan Pickthorn, who are averaging single round scores of 75.7 and 75.8, respectively.
Pickthorn's most notable performance came in early March, as he won the Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout at Cal State East Bay with a score of 219 (75-68-76).
Freshman Austin Spicer has had a strong debut collegiate season, logging one top-5 finish and averaging a score of 76.3.
Next Week: MSUB, NNU, SMU, SFU and WWU at GNAC Championships, April 21-22, Coeur d'Alene Resort, Coeur d'Alene, ID.
GNAC Championships All-Time Records (Coeur d'Alene Resort)
54-Hole Total - 209, Xavier Dailly, WWU, 70-72-67 (Apr. 19-20, 2010) Single Round - 65, Craig Crawford, WWU (Apr. 23, 2012) 54-Hole Total, Team - 850, Western Washington, 283-293-274 (Apr. 19-20, 2010) Single Round, Team - 274, Western Washington (Apr. 20, 2010)
Jake Koppenberg Qualifies for U.S. Amateur
Former Viking All-American to play in prestigious U.S. Amateur August 14-20 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Men's Golf Finishes 16th at NCAA II Championships
Senior Jeffrey Marcum and Freshman Ethan Casto tie for 57th in 108-player field
Men's Golf Slips to 17th at NCAA Championships
WWU men's golf moved up to as high as 8th place, but had a tough finish to finish the 2nd round in 17th place
Men's Golf Senior Trio Named All- West Region
Chris Hatch, Brett Johnson and Jeffrey Marcum earn Division II PING All-West Region honors
Men's Golf in 12th Place at NCAA Championships
Senior Brett Johnson has WWU in the hunt after carding even-par 70 in first round
Vikings Begin Quest for NCAA II Championship
WWU men's golf opens play Monday in the NCAA Division II Championships
Men's Golf Headed to NCAA Championships
Vikings tie for 3rd at NCAA II West/South Central Super Regional
Men's Golf Surges Into 2nd in NCAA Regional Play
Vikings card 10-under-par 2nd round to inch closer to NCAA II Championships
Men's Golf Tied for 5th at NCAA II Regional
Senior Chris Hatch leads Vikings in first round with 5-under-par 67 at Brookside Country Club.
Men's Golf Tees it up at NCAA Regional
Vikings will take to the course starting at 12:50 pm today in Stockton, Calif.
Three Men's Golfer Named First Team All-GNAC
Seniors Brett Johnson, Chris Hatch and Jeffrey Marcum named First Team All-GNAC and Head Coach Luke Bennett repeats as GNAC Coach of the ...
Men's Golf Advances to 19th Straight NCAA Tourney
Vikings are the No. 6 seed in the West Region to be played May 8-10 in Stockton, Calif.
Pair of Men's Golfers Earn GNAC Academic Awards
Sophomore Michael Butler and junior Adam Barker named GNAC Academic All-Stars
Vikings Repeat as GNAC Champions
Vikings overcome 6-stroke deficit in the final round to claim back-to-back GNAC Championships
Men's Golf in 2nd Place at GNAC Championships
Senior Chris Hatch one stroke back of tournament lead with 36-hole score of -4 (138)