All Four Competing Teams Picked For Men’s Golf Regional
Western Washington freshman Drew Halili paced the Vikings at the GNAC Championships with a second-place finish at 1-over-par 217 over three rounds. Photo by Ron Smith.
Western Washington freshman Drew Halili paced the Vikings at the GNAC Championships with a second-place finish at 1-over-par 217 over three rounds. Photo by Ron Smith.

Friday, April 23, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS – The four competing teams at the 2021 GNAC Men’s Golf Championships will need to pack their bags and head back to DuPont, Washington.

All four teams have been selected to compete at the 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf West/South Central Regional, which will take place at The Home Course on May 6-8. Western Washington leads the conference field as the No. 2 seed, followed by Saint Martin’s (No. 5), Montana State Billings (No. 7) and Northwest Nazarene (No. 8).

Western Washington enters the West Regionals with the GNAC’s top stroke average at 296.3. This is the program’s 22nd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships.

Three Vikings rank in the conference’s top-five in stroke average. Junior Aidan Thain is expected to make a return to the lineup after missing the GNAC Championships. He leads the Vikings and is second in the conference with a 73.6 stroke average.

The Vikings finished in second place at the GNAC Championships at 877. Freshman Drew Halili led the Vikings with a second-place finish at 1-over-par 217, which included an even-par 72 in the second round and a 1-under-par 71 in the third. Sophomore Jordan Lee, the 2018-19 GNAC Player of the Year, also impressed, tying for fourth place at 4-over-par 220.

Saint Martin’s is the GNAC’s automatic qualifier after winning its first-ever conference title on Tuesday, edging out Western Washington by two strokes at 875. The Saints are second in the conference with a 298.5 stroke average and will have the privilege of playing on their home course once again.

Senior Tyler Fitchett became just the second player in program history to earn medalist honors at the GNAC Championships. He led the Saints to the team title with a first-place finish at 2-under-par 214, three strokes ahead of Halili. Fitchett’s historic performance included a low score of 3-under-par 69 in the first round. He leads the conference with a 72.6 stroke average over 13 rounds.

Juniors Jordan Terada and Max Turnquist fended off the surging Vikings to help secure the Saints’ GNAC title. Terada tied for fourth place with Lee at 4-over-par 220 while Turnquist finished one stroke back, tying for sixth at 5-over-par 221. Turnquist is eighth in the conference with a 75 stroke average.

Montana State Billings placed third at the GNAC Championships with a final score of 887. The Yellowjackets were led by a third-place finish by senior Garrett Woodin at 3-over-par 219. Woodin shot a low round of 1-under-par 71 in the final round. He enters the regional tournament ranked No. 5 in the conference with a 74.8 stroke average over 15 rounds with a pair of top-five finishes.

The Yellowjackets claimed the team title at the Hardrocker Classic on April 12-13 in Rapid City, South Dakota, with a two-round score of 607. Freshman Kevin Kolb earned medalist honors after he edged out Woodin by two strokes at 6-over-par 148.

Northwest Nazarene sophomore Cole Evarts led the Nighthawks at the GNAC Championships, finishing in a four-way tie for eighth place at 7-over-par 223. His tournament included a 1-over-par 73 in the opening round. He enters the regional tournament with a 77.4 stroke average while fellow sophomore Grayson Giboney leads the Nighthawks with a 75.3 stroke average to go with a top-five finish at the Lewis-Clark State Spring Invitational on March 15-16 in Clarkston, Washington.

This is the first-ever selection to the NCAA Championships for both the Yellowjackets and the Nighthawks.

Sonoma State earned the West Region’s No. 1 seed while Oklahoma Christian earned the top seed in the South Central Region. Other West Region teams selected for the tournament include Academy of Art, Cal State East Bay and Holy Names. Joining Oklahoma Christian from the South Central Region are CSU Pueblo, Midwestern State, Texas A&M-Commerce, Dallas Baptist, St. Mary’s (Texas), Colorado Mesa and Western New Mexico.

A field of 64 teams will participate in regional competition. The top four teams from each super regional will advance to the finals on May 17-21 at the Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.