The men’s golf team won first place on April 23, so the team will move on to the NCAA Division III Championships in May. The women’s golf team took third place in the Northwest Conference Championship Tournament on April 22 and 23.
After the first round on the first day, the men had a six-stroke lead against Whitworth University with a score of 301. The team ended the tournament strong and took the lead with a final score of 595. Whitworth followed behind with 611, and University of Puget Sound took third with a score of 617.
Junior Alex Fitch led the team with a first-place score of 142. Senior Yutaro Sakamoto was two strokes behind and landed in third place with a final score of 144. Sophomore Josh Kay shot 153 and tied for eighth with Whitman College senior Brian Barton.
“Our team this year has always been capable of doing some great things,” Fitch said. “Our strength is showing up to the big tournaments and playing well. We didn’t let how the other teams we were playing distract us, so we did a good job of playing our game and taking care of business.”
The men’s team’s goal is to finish in the top-10 at nationals, Fitch said.
“There is tough competition at nationals, so we are just going to go down there, have fun and see how we match up against the nation’s best.”
The Championships will take place in Greensboro, N.C., on May 10-13.
At the end of the first day, the women sat in third place with a score of 329, closely followed by Whitworth with 335. The team finished the tournament with a total of 658, a short five strokes behind Whitman.
“I thought the NWC Championships went extremely well,” senior Katie Kilborn said. “We posted one of our best scores ever.”
Senior Brynn Hurdus, who shaved three strokes off her first-day score of 79, tied for second with George Fox sophomore Kelsey Morrison for a total of 155. Kilborn finished in a three-way tie with seniors Sarah Askin from George Fox and Natalie Nakamine of Puget Sound, all scoring 162. Sophomore Brinn Hovde placed 18th with a total of 170. Freshman Ali Smith finished one stroke behind Hovde.
The team is happy about how the season turned out. Hurdus, who will graduate this spring, had a few words for her teammates.
“Just keep working hard, enjoying the game and thinking positively,” she said. “I have so much faith in every one of you and know the team can and will do great things. Golf takes an incredible amount of effort, strength and patience, but the results are so rewarding when you put in the time. You can do it. Just believe it.”
Kelsey Sutton/Staff reporter
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.