WWU golfers star at Bellingham Amateur
Sept. 4, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
by MICHELLE NOLAN, Sports Dept., The Bellingham Herald
Both played stylish golf as pretty as the Lake Padden course looked on Monday, Sept. 3. That's saying something on what turned out to be a perfect day for the 38th annual tournament, all at Lake Padden.
Webb, a redshirt senior with Division II All-America aspirations, was the only golfer in the 33-player Division One field to play under par all three rounds, going 70-69-71-210 to claim low gross honors for the entire three-division field.
He finished with the same score last year following a final-round 65, but had to settle for second place, so he felt good in what might be the business marketing major's last Bellingham Amateur for a while.
Crawford, a redshirt junior, claimed Division One low-gross honors with a magnificent comeback performance, shooting 77-66-71-214.
Webb, who was one of King County's most noted high school golfers during three seasons as Skyline's leader, recalled how tough it was to sit out a season after his first two years at Western.
"It was hard. I traveled to tournaments 75 percent of the time as a freshman at Western," he said, indicating how disappointing his sophomore season was. "So I redshirted as an academic junior and spent that year working on my game."
Webb worked hard enough to be a big part of Western's season last school year, capped by a ninth-place finish in the NCAA Division II championships."
"We had eight WWU guys playing here today," Webb said. "This is a great course and really sets you up as preparation for our season. It begins with qualifying on Friday (Sept. 7). Our goal is to win the NCAA Tournament. My goal is to make one of the three All-American teams.
"The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Webb - who looks like the baseball pitching prospect he once was before focusing on golf as a high school junior - twice saved par with 15-foot putts on the back nine.
"I hit into a hazard left off the tee on the par-5 13th hole," he said. "I took a drop and saved the hole with that 15-footer. Then, on the par-4 15th hole, a dog-leg right, I saved par again.
"Webb said Western's golfers are determined to work out well this winter - "such a key time" - following the fall portion of the season."It was brutal last year when we finished one stroke out of being in the top eight teams and going to match play at the NCAAs," Webb said, recalling the team's mental anguish after three rounds of medal play, during which the five golfers played a total of 270 holes, only to have one shot decide their frustrating fate. "It was just brutal."
The 6-3, 175-pound Crawford - who strongly resembles the multi-sport high school standout he was at tiny Highland Christian - was pleased the tournament displayed his mental maturity.
Following an opening-round 5-over 77 "during which nothing went right," he said, Crawford shot a 6-under 66 on Sunday and followed with a 71 Monday, including eight birdies. His 66 was the lowest round of the tournament.
"I won two state Class 2B/1B golf titles and was runner-up twice," said Crawford, who decided he loved golf best even though he enjoyed a variety of success in four team sports. "So it really was hard not to play my first two years at Western (the first as a redshirt, the second as a deep reserve.
"But last (school) year, I made the travel squad for our last fall tournament, then traveled and played all spring," said Crawford, whose grin and enthusiasm are as vibrant as his game. "I was determined I wasn't going to give up on myself. Those two years not being in the lineup taught me patience. I had been a hothead at one time, but I've learned a lot."
Crawford, who once had a 64 with seven birdies and an eagle at Lake Padden, was pleased with his putting, the big factor in his eight birdies in the last round.
Another Western golfer, Sandy Vaughn from his Glen Acres home course, also turned in an outstanding showing while claiming low-net honors at 215. He shot 74-70-71. Second low gross was Bob Shannon from North Bellingham GC at 70-74-72-216 and second low net was Lake Padden 3-handicapper Kris Hunt at 216.
Mike Rutledge of Twin Rivers was third low gross and Western golfer Brennan Emery was third low net - both at 217. Western player Mark Strickland shot 218 and Lynden graduate Will Holdridge of Seattle Pacific University finished at 219, both breaking par for the tourney.
Division Two winners were both Lake Padden golfers, Paul Berube for low gross at 74-71-72-217 and course superintendent Scott McBeath at 210 low net.
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