Three Men's Golf Teams Earn Preseason Poll Mentions
Western Washington's Aidan Thain led the conference with a 73.6 stroke average in 2020-21.
Western Washington's Aidan Thain led the conference with a 73.6 stroke average in 2020-21.

Friday, August 27, 2021

NORMAN, Okla. – After arguably the best men’s golf season in conference history, three GNAC teams open the 2021-22 campaign among teams receiving votes in the Bushnell/Golfweek Division II Preseason Coaches Poll.

Western Washington leads the three GNAC teams with 18 points in the poll. Simon Fraser, which was unable to compete in 2020-21 due to the U.S/Canada border closure necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, earned 13 points. Defending GNAC champion Saint Martin’s received six votes.

The trio is among seven West Region teams to receive votes in the preseason. Also among the list are Chico State (25), Sonoma State (10), Cal State East Bay (3) and Holy Names (1).

Western Washington led GNAC teams in 2020-21 with a 296.6 stroke average. The Vikings placed second at the GNAC Championships with a three-round score of 877, two strokes behind Saint Martin’s. They had two golfers in the top-five at the conference tournament and all four scoring golfers in the top-eight.

Senior Aidan Thain led the conference with a 73.6 stroke average. Senior Devin Andrews was third with a 74.5 stroke average while sophomore Drew Halili was fourth with a 74.6 stroke average. All three earned First Team All-GNAC honors while Andrews and Thain were named to the Division II PING All-West Region Team.

Simon Fraser led GNAC teams in 2019-20 with a 288.6 stroke average. The team placed first or second in all three of its fall tournaments, winning the Saint Martin’s Invitational and the Concordia Invitational. In 2019, Simon Fraser placed second at the GNAC Championships with a score of 866.

Simon Fraser returns three golfers that competed in 2019-20. Junior Aidan Goodfellow ranked fifth in the conference that season with a 72.3 stroke average and earned First Team All-GNAC honors. Junior Ryan Stolys was a Second Team All-GNAC selection in 2020 and was seventh in the league with a 72.7 stroke average.

Taking full advantage of a postseason on its home course, Saint Martin’s won the GNAC Championships with a three-round of 875, edging Western Washington by two strokes. The Saints went on to place second at the NCAA West/South Central Regional with a score of 879, missing the super regional title by just five strokes, and placed 15th at its first Division II National Championships.

The Saints return GNAC Men’s Golf Player of the Year Tyler Fitchett. The senior and GNAC Championships medalist finished second in the GNAC with a 73.8 stroke average. Senior Max Turnquist earned Second Team All-GNAC honors after finishing with a 75.3 stroke average. He tied for sixth at both the GNAC Championships and West/South Central Regional. Both Fitchett and Turnquist earned PING All-West Region honors.

The 2021-22 GNAC men’s golf season begins on September 20 when Montana State Billings opens play at the Hardrocker Invitational. All five GNAC teams will be in action on September 24 and 25 at the Saint Martin’s Invitational in Du Pont, Washington.