The Vikings are one of 27 teams competing in the 2018 Dixie State Trailblazer/Holiday Inn Fall Regional Preview. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Head to Utah for Regional Preview
October 15, 2018
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The nationally-ranked Western Washington University men’s golf team returns to action this week as one of 27 teams that will compete in the 2018 Dixie State Trailblazer/Holiday Inn Fall Regional Preview at The Ledges Golf Club in St. George, Utah.
The Vikings are ranked No. 14 in the Bushnell Golfweek NCAA Division II Coaches Poll and are 3-for-3 in tournament wins this season. WWU has recorded a team score of at or under par in eight of the nine rounds played this season, earning tournament wins at the Saint Martin’s Invitational, the WWU Invitational and the Concordia Invitational.
The two-day, 36-hole regional preview features a 27-team field (135 players) that will go off in two flights and split tees each day, with the morning flight beginning on the first and 10th holes at 8 am and the afternoon flight teeing off at 12 pm. WWU is part of the afternoon flight on Monday, beginning at 12:50 pm on the 10th hole.
The tournament serves as a preview for the NCAA Division II West/South Central Regional Championships that will be held on the same course May 9-11, 2019. Western has qualified to play in the NCAA II Championships in each of the last 20 seasons.
THE VIKINGS 5…Here is a look at WWU’s starting lineup for the Fall Regional Preview, with the Vikings featuring the same five golfers from the first three tournament wins this season:
1) Jordan Lee (Fr., Tacoma, WA/Bellarmine Prep)
2) Ethan Casto (Jr., Snohomish, WA/Snohomish HS)
3) Michael Butler (Sr., Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS)
4) Cody Roth (Sr., Bellingham, WA/Bellingham HS)
5) Nick Sparling (Sr., Dublin, OH/Dublin Coffman/Ohio State)
THE FIELD…In addition to the Vikings, four other programs from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference will compete in the tournament (Saint Martin’s, Concordia, Simon Fraser, Northwest Nazarene)…Chico State (#12), WWU (#14), St. Mary’s (#15) and Oklahoma Christian (#25) are ranked teams that will be playing in the field.
THE COURSE…The Ledges Golf Club is a par 72 layout that will play at 7,145 yards (Front: 3,637, Back: 3,508)… the course was designed by Matt Dye and features impressive red rock backdrops, immaculately designed greens, and expansive view of Snow Canyon State Park.
HOW TO FOLLOW…The Dixie State Trailblazer/Holiday Inn Fall Regional Preview will feature live scoring updates via Golfstat for both rounds.
3-FOR-3…WWU has won its three tournaments it has entered this fall, recording a 17-stroke win at the Saint Martin’s Invitational (-9, 855: 284-283-288), a 2-stroke win over nationally-ranked Chico State at the WWU Invitational (-3, 861: 289-287-285) and a 25-stroke win at the Concordia Invitational (-8, 844: 280-281-283)…the three tournament wins are the most by a Vikings squad since the 2012-13 team won four tournaments…the program record is seven tournament wins in 1999-2000 when the Vikings were coached by current Director of Athletics Steve Card.
GOING LOW…Western has played nine competitive rounds this fall, and recorded a team score under par in eight of those rounds…the eight rounds at or under par are already more than last season (7) and match the total from 2015-16 and 2016-17…dating back to the 1993-94 season, the eight rounds at or under par ties for 7th-most in program history…the program record is 13 rounds at or under par by the 2007-08 and 2011-12 Vikings.
LAST TIME OUT…The Vikings recorded a dominating 25-stroke victory at the Concordia Invitational played Oct. 8-9 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Oregon…the Vikings had a team score of 8-under-par 844, 25 strokes better than second-place Simon Fraser (+17, 869)…WWU shot under par in all three rounds of the tournament and is 8-for-9 this season with team rounds at or under par…freshman Jordan Lee won individual medalist honors finishing at 8-under-par 205 for an 8-stroke victory in the 43-player field…all five of the Vikings golfers finished in the top 15, with senior Michael Butler and junior Ethan Casto tying for 3rd place at 1-over-par 214.
A LOOK INSIDE NUMBERS…Here is a look at WWU’s season statistics after three fall tournaments…as a team the Vikings have recorded 10 rounds in the 60s and 22 rounds of par or better…senior Cody Roth leads the team and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with a season scoring average of 71.22 (-0.44 to par) and has turned in 5 of 9 rounds at or below par…freshmanJordan Lee is coming off a win at the Concordia Invitational and is 2nd on the team with a scoring average of 71.78 (+0.11 to par)…all five of the Vikings starting golfers are ranked in the top 8 in the GNAC statistical rankings.
WHAT’S NEXT…Following the Dixie State Trailblazer/Holiday Inn Fall Regional Preview, the Vikings will complete the fall season at Dennis Rose Intercollegiate in Waikoloa, Hawai’i Oct. 29-31…the three-day, 54-hole tournament will be played on the Kings' Course at Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf.
FOR MORE INFO…The complete fall and spring schedule, as well as the team roster, statistics and historical information on the program, can be viewed at WWUVikings.com/MGolf.
ABOUT WWU MEN’S GOLF…The WWU men’s golf team has an incredible streak of advancing to the NCAA Championships in each of the 20 seasons the program has competed at the NCAA Division II level dating back to the 1998-99 season, including a 3rd-place finish at the 2013 national championship. The program has produced 17 All-Americans and has won 8 of 10 Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships since the tournament debuted in 2008. The Vikings have also featured the GNAC Championships individual medalist in 7 of 11 tournaments, including 2018 champion Ethan Casto.
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