Western Washington Takes 16th Place At Nationals
Jeffrey Marcum recorded three birdies on the final round to finish with a score of 3-over-par 73. <i>Photo by Bob Snow</i>
Jeffrey Marcum recorded three birdies on the final round to finish with a score of 3-over-par 73. Photo by Bob Snow

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – On the final day of stroke play, Western Washington shot a 24-over-par 304 to finish in 16th place at the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championships on Wednesday at Reunion Resort.

The Vikings fought through tough conditions at the 7054-yard par 70 Watson Course on a blustery day in the Sunshine State to move up a spot on the leaderboard. The 16th-place finish at nationals represents WWU’s best finish to a season since 2013, which was the last time the Vikings reached the national tournament. Overall, it was their ninth trip to the championships.

Jeffrey Marcum had an impressive final day of his collegiate career, carding a 3-over-par 73, which ranked among the top scores on the third day. Marcum finished with an overall score of 15-over-par 225 to tie for 57th place and lead the Vikings. The senior nailed three birdies in a row on holes six, seven and eight to go a stroke under par on the front nine.

Ethan Casto tied Marcum’s overall score of 15-over-par 225 and finished well at his first collegiate postseason event. The freshman shot a 5-over-par 75 in the final round. He needed nine strokes to finish the par-5 hole eight, but bounced back for a strong finish to the round. Casto sunk birdies on holes 10 and 13 to for a total of five birdies in the tournament.

Michael Butler had the second-most birdies for WWU with seven in the tournament. He started the day with a birdie on the first hole and then got two in a row on holes 13 and 14 to finish the day at 4-over-par 74. Butler’s final score for the tournament was 19-over-par 229 to take a tie for 80th place.

Seniors Chris Hatch and Brett Johnson wrapped up their careers with a score of 12-over-par 82 in the final round. Hatch recorded pars on 10 holes in the final round for an overall score of 18-over-par 228. Johnson’s final day was full of peaks and valleys as the wind wreaked havoc. He birdied consecutive holes at the start of the day and finished with his team-leading eighth birdie of the event for a final score of 17-over-par 227.

Barry claimed first place in stroke play and will be the No. 1 seed for match play, which features the top eight teams. Chandler Blanchet from West Florida is the individual national champion with a score of 1-under-par 209.