Vikings Tied for 4th After First Round of NCAA Golf
Jake Webb fired a 71 in Monday's opening round.
Jake Webb fired a 71 in Monday's opening round.

Monday, May 20, 2013

HERSHEY, Pa. - With two players among the Top 15 in medalist play, Western Washington is fourth in a 20-team field following opening-day action Monday at the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championships being held at the Hershey Country Club East Course.

Action continues on the 7,061 yard course at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The Vikings, ranked No.6 in the final Golf Coaches Athletic Association Top 25 Poll, are tied for fourth at 292 with defending national champion and No.1-ranked Nova Southeastern. Those two teams are both eight shots behind leader and No.2-ranked Barry, which shot even par 284.

Lynn is second at 290, six shots off the lead, followed by Cal State Monterey Bay at 291.

Cal State Monterey Bay won the South Central/West Regional by one stroke over the Vikings.

WWU’s Jake Webb (Sr., Issaquah/Skyline) is tied for ninth individually at even par 71, and Kyle Schrader (So., Olympia/Tumwater), who took medalist honors at regionals, is tied for 15th after shooting 72.

“It was a battle for us, definitely a round that you would call a grind,” said WWU coach Steve Card (20th year). “The only guy who played solid all day was Schrader, everyone else had their ups and downs.’

“But it was an important day for us with the time change following a long day of travel, Sunday’s practice round and getting up at 4:30 a.m. our time to play. To go out and play a decent round of golf, I was pretty happy overall with our start.”

The Vikings’ Dylan Goodwin (Sr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) is tied for 35th (74), Evan Needham (Sr., Lynden/Meridian) tied for 41st (75) and Mark Strickland (So., Mukilteo/Kamiak) tied for 67th (77).

“The scoring opportunities are few and far between here. We need to play the par 5s better. We probably played them even par today.”

The medalist leader at 3-under 68 is Barry’s Adam Svensson. Three players are tied for second, one stroke behind.

It is the second straight NCAA II national appearance for WWU, which placed ninth last year, and its eighth trip overall.  The Vikings tied for eighth in 2008, placed ninth in 2004 and in 2005, 11th in 2003, tied for sixth in 2000 and finished 11th in 1999.

Goodwin and Webb are only returnees from last year’s national squad.

The top eight teams after 54 holes advance to match-medal play Thursday with quarterfinals and semifinals followed by the final round for the national title Friday.