Victorious Viking Golfers Get GNAC Team Of The Week
The Vikings placed four players inside the top-10 in their first tournament of the fall campaign.
The Vikings placed four players inside the top-10 in their first tournament of the fall campaign.

Monday, September 24, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Washington’s men’s golf team teed off its fall season in style last week, proving it was the class of a Saint Martin’s Invitational field that featured 18 Division II teams and 96 players.

The Vikings cruised to the team title, finishing with a three-day total of nine-under par. That mark was 17 strokes clear of second-place Simon Fraser and 21 shots ahead of third-place Stanislaus State.

As strong a start to the year as there can be, the victory earned WWU the selection as GNAC Team of the Week. With the win, it joined Concordia as the only other GNAC men’s golf team to finish on top in its initial tournament of the 2018-19 campaign.

Head coach Luke Bennett’s team was led by senior Cody Roth, who carded a three-round total of 211 (5-under par). Roth finished in a tie for second amongst competing individuals at The Home Course in DuPont, Washington.

His weekend was highlighted by a second round score of 5-under-par 67, which featured three birdies and one eagle after making the turn on Friday afternoon.

“Cody’s finish today and afternoon round was fantastic,” said Bennett after his senior posted the second-best round of anyone in the tournament. “It was a great start to the season (for everyone).”

The strong start for Western Washington continued into Saturday as the team extended its lead on the rest of the field, ultimately cruising to the 17-stroke victory.

“From the time we left Bellingham, in the practice round and then on the course for the tournament, the guys were locked in,” Bennett said. “They were composed throughout the tournament and plated really good golf all weekend. It was a great start for a group that has a lot of big goals for the upcoming season.”

The Vikings placed three other players inside the top-10 as upperclassmen Nick Sparkling, Michael Butler and Ethan Casto turned in three-day totals of three-under, one-under and even par, respectively.

It is Roth who leads the conference in scoring average, topping the rest of the league with a total of 70.3 through three rounds of play. WWU also leads the GNAC in team scoring average at 285.

Western Washington will go for back-to-back tournament titles this week as it hosts the WWU Invitational at Bellingham Golf & Country Club. The 20-team tournament, which includes all six GNAC teams, is being contested Monday and Tuesday in Bellingham.