Men's Golf Opens 2017-18 Season This Weekend

Sept. 21, 2017

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The nationally-ranked Western Washington men's golf team opens the 2017-18 season this weekend, playing in a pair of tournaments over a five-day span. 

The Vikings will debut at the Saint Martin's Invite on Friday and Saturday at Olympia Country Club. WWU will compete in the 12-team field playing 36 holes on Friday and 18 holes in the final round on Saturday. 

The No. 24-ranked Vikings will then have a quick turnaround hosting the 46th annual WWU Invitational Monday and Tuesday at Bellingham Golf & Country Club. 

The Vikings starting lineup for the Saint Martin's Invite is the following:

  1. Michael Butler (Jr., Sammamish, WA)
  2. Adam Barker (Sr., Gig Harbor, WA)
  3. Nick Sparling (Jr., Dublin, OH)
  4. Cody Roth (Jr., Bellingham, WA)
  5. Devin Andrews (Fr., Kirkland, WA)
Preseason National Ranking...coming off a second consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship and a 16th-place finish at the NCAA II Championships, the Western Washington University men’s golf team enters the 2017-18 season ranked tied for 24th in the Bushnell/Golfweek Division II Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Vikings received 61 points and finished tied with Stanislaus State in the annual preseason poll. Of the teams inside the top 25, Western Washington was one of 15 programs to participate in last year’s NCAA Division II National Championships.

Western Washington finished tied for third last May in the NCAA West/South Central Regional Championships with an 847 team score, collectively shooting 17-under-par. The Vikings eventually went on to finish in 16th place at the NCAA Championships. WWU boasts a league-high eight GNAC team titles and has appeared at 19 consecutive NCAA Regional events, every year the school has been affiliated with the NCAA Division II.

2016-17 Season in Review...finished 16th at the NCAA Division II Championships at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla….advanced to the NCAA II West/South Central Super Regional for the 19th consecutive season, tying for 3rd in the 20-team field after entering the tournament as the No. 6 seed in the West Region…have made the NCAA regional in all 19 years WWU has been affiliated in NCAA Division II…ranked No. 34 in the final Golfstat Division II rankings, the 11th-best final ranking in program history…won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference team championship for the second consecutive season and eighth time in the 10 years of the event…recorded a one-stroke victory over Concordia for the GNAC title, finishing the 54-hole tournament at 19-over-par 871…at the GNAC Tournament four of five team members placed in the top 20, led by a 2nd-place finish by senior Chris Hatch (71-67-72=210, -3)…three senior golfers were named First Team All-GNAC and Division II PING All-West Region – Chris Hatch, Brett Johnson and Jeffrey Marcum…the trio held three of the top four scoring averages in the GNAC - Hatch (2nd, 72.73), Marcum (3rd, 73.24) and Johnson (4th, 73.59)…Hatch (46th) and Marcum (73rd) also ranked in the top 100 in Division II in scoring average…in regional play Johnson tied for 6th (70-67-69=206, -10) and Hatch tied for 15th (67-74-70=211, -5) in the 108-player field…Marcum and freshman Ethan Casto tied for 57th to lead the Vikings at the NCAA Championships…team finished in the top 5 in all four spring tournaments, and in the top 10 in eight of nine regular-season tournaments…tied for 1st place at the Chico State Wildcat Classic Oct. 3-4, 2016 at Butte Creek Country Club, turning in a 54-hole tournament total of 13-over-par 877…team led the GNAC with a scoring average of 293.0 (+6.65 to par), over two strokes better than runner-up Concordia (295.2)…team posted a 12-under-par round of 276 in the final round of the Visit Stockton Cactus Thaw! to tie for the 4th-lowest round relative to par in program history, trailing only -15 (273, Grand Canyon University Fall Invitational, Oct. 4, 2010), -14 (274, Cal State Bakersfield Spring Invitational, Feb. 28, 2005) and -13 (275, WWU Invitational, Sept. 26, 2005)…individuals posted 55 rounds of par or better during the season, led by 16 from Johnson…freshman Ezra Arneson carded the low round of the season with a 7-under-par 65 in the final round of the Chico State Classic (9 birdies), tied for the 7th-lowest round in program history relative to par…eight team rounds of par or better tied for 7th-best in program history…Hatch’s scoring average of 72.73 entered the records books as 7th-best in program history (12th-best relative to par)…Johnson (3rd, 73.15), Marcum (7th, 73.73) and Hatch (9th, 73.84) ended their careers in the top 10 scoring average…head coach Luke Bennett was named the GNAC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

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