The WWU men’s golf team captured its ninth GNAC title with a dominating performance in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
WWU Men's Golf Wins 9th GNAC Championship
April 24, 2019
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – The Western Washington University men’s golf team clinched its ninth conference title running away from the field with a 15-stroke victory at the 2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships on the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course.
Sophomore Brody Bonfilio was a late entrant into WWU’s lineup due to an illness, and made the most of the opportunity winning individual medalist honors finishing the 54-hole tournament at 3-under-par 210 (67-71-72). The Idaho native recorded a birdie on his final hole (No. 9) to become the eighth Viking to win the top individual honor in the 12 years of the event. The GNAC's reigning Freshman of the Year edged out teammate Jordan Lee and Concordia's Jake Wiley, who finished tied for second at 2-under
WWU has won nine of the 12 championships in conference history and will receive the GNAC’s first automatic qualifier bid to the NCAA Division II West/South Central Regional that will be played May 9-11 in St. George, Utah. WWU has now qualified for the NCAA regional championships in all 21 seasons that the program has been affiliated with the NCAA.
The Vikings clinched its third GNAC Championship in the last four years with a final round team score of 1-under-par 283, led by a 5-under-par 66 from freshman Lee. WWU won six consecutive team titles from 2008-2013, and then again in back-to-back seasons in 2016-17.
Bonfilio (Boise, ID/Bishop Kelly) joined a lengthy list of Vikings that have won medalist honors at the GNAC Championships, including Jake Koppenberg (2009), Xavier Dailly (2010), Nick Valeria (2011), Craig Crawford (2012), Jake Webb (2013), Brett Johnson (2016) and current Viking Ethan Casto (2018).
Lee (Tacoma, WA/Bellarmine Prep) recorded eight birdies in the final round en route to scoring a tournament low 5-under-par 66 on the par-71 layout. Lee started the day tied for 10th place in the 30-player field, but vaulted up the leaderboard while tying his career-low collegiate round.
Senior Cody Roth (Bellingham, WA) tied for 7th to record his highest finish while playing in his fourth GNAC Championships. Roth finished at 3-over-par 216 with rounds of 73-70-73 and led the tournament field with a 1-under-par scoring average on Coeur d’Alene’s five tough par 3’s.
Defending tournament champion Ethan Casto (Snohomish, WA) tied for 9th place at 4-over-par 217. Casto opened his final round at 2-under-par through the first nine holes, including a three-hole stretch where he played holes 13-14-15 at 4-under-par with a pair of birdies and an eagle.
Senior Nick Sparling (Dublin, OH/Dublin Coffman) fired a final-round 74 (+3) to finish 16th in the 30-player field.
WWU’s team round of 1-under-par 283 marked the 20th round of par or better this season (out of 29 rounds), increasing what is already a program record. The Vikings have won six of the 10 tournaments they have played in this season, 2nd-most in program history, trailing only seven wins in 1999-2000.
GNAC CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS
Here is a look at the final GNAC Championships leaderboard, including a round-by-round look at the Vikings first-place finish for the ninth GNAC title in program history:
VIKING INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS
Sophomore Brody Bonfilio became the eighth Viking to win individual medalist honors at the GNAC Championships. Here is a list of the individual champions in the 12-year history of the event dating back to 2008:
2008 - Hiro Nezu, Saint Martin’s - 138 (65-73)
2009 - Jake Koppenberg, WWU - 213 (69-70-74) – won in playoff
2010 - Xavier Dailly, WWU - 219 (70-72-67)
2011 - Nick Valeria, WWU - 215 (74-70-71)
2012 - Craig Crawford, WWU - 212 (65-76-71)
2013 - Jake Webb, WWU - 213 (70-68-75)
2014 - Kevin Vigna, Simon Fraser - 213 (75-67-71)
2015 - Bret Thompson, Simon Fraser - 205 (68-67-70)
2016 - Brett Johnson, WWU - 203 (64-73-66)
2017 - Chris Crisologo, Simon Fraser - 208 (70-67-71)
2018 - Ethan Casto, WWU - 209 (67-75-67) – won in playoff
2019 - Brody Bonfilio, WWU - 210 (67-71-72)
DOMINATING THE GNAC
The WWU men’s golf team has won nine of the 12 GNAC Championships, taking home the team title in the first six years of the event (2008-13) and has won three of the last four seasons. Here is a look at the team champions in the history of the event, which has been played in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for the last 11 years:
2008 - Western Washington (578*)
2009 - Western Washington (872)
2010 - Western Washington (850)
2011 - Western Washington (884)
2012 - Western Washington (856)
2013 - Western Washington (867)
2014 - Northwest Nazarene (892)
2015 - Simon Fraser (837)
2016 - Western Washington (837)
2017 - Western Washington (871)
2018 - Simon Fraser (852)
2019 - Western Washington (851)
The Vikings will find out their seed in the NCAA Division II West/South Central Regional Championships this Friday at 3 pm PT. The regional championships will be played May 9-11 at The Ledges Golf Club in St. George, Utah. The 20-team field will consist of 10 teams each from the West and South Central Region, with the top four teams advancing to the national championships May 20-24 in Daniels, West Virginia.
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 9 of 12 Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships since the tournament debuted in 2008, including the 2019 title. The Vikings have also featured the GNAC Championships individual medalist in 8 of 12 tournaments, including 2018 champion Ethan Casto and 2019 champion Brody Bonfilio.
-- @WWUMGolf --