Photo: WWU Athletics
WWU Golf: Men move up to tie for 3rd at Mustang Intercollegiate
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – The Western Washington University men’s golf team, led by a trio of Vikings placing among the top 15, finished in a tie for 3rd out of 20 teams at the Mustang Intercollegiate played Monday and Tuesday at Palm Valley Golf Club.
The Vikings were 6th after the first two rounds on Monday before posting a third round of 11-under-par 277 on Tuesday to move up in the final standings. The two-day, 54-hole tournament was hosted by Western New Mexico University on the par 72, 7,015-yard Palm Valley Golf Club Course situated 20 miles west of downtown Phoenix.
WWU began the tournament with identical team rounds of 4-under-par 284 on Monday before turning in its best round with the 11-under-par 277 on Tuesday, the 3rd-lowest team round of the day.
“I am very proud of how the guys played from start to finish this week,” head coach Luke Bennett said. “To shoot three under-par team scores and to save our -11 for the final round was so great to see.”
Junior Cody Roth (Bellingham, WA) led WWU in the tournament, placing in a tie for 6th at 9-under-par 207 for his fourth top-20 finish of the season. He began the tournament with rounds of 68 (-4) and 69 (-3) on Monday before carding a 2-under-par 70 during Tuesday’s final round.
Freshman Brody Bonfilio (Boise, ID/Bishop Kelly) joined Roth among the top 10, finishing one stroke back of his teammate in a tie for 8that 8-under-par 208. He shot a 1-under-par 71 on Tuesday after rounds of 69 (-3) and 68 (-4) on Monday for his fourth top-20 finish of the season.
Roth (-9, 207) and Bonfilio (-8, 208) each posted 54-hole total scores ranking among the lowest in program history (since 1993-94) with Roth tied for 11th and Bonfilio tied for 14th.
Sophomore Ethan Casto (Snohomish, WA) turned in the 2nd-best round score among all competitors during Tuesday’s third round, firing a career low of 8-under-par 64. He moved from tied for 59th at the end of the day Monday to a tie for 13th at 5-under-par 211 in recording his sixth top-20 finish of the season. Casto played a bogey-free round with eight birdies on Tuesday to follow rounds of 74 (+2) and 73 (+1) on Monday.
“A bogey-free round is always a great feat, but to go bogey-free with eight birdies is so special,” Bennett said.
Casto’s round trailed only individual champion Nicklaus Britt (-9, 63) among third round individual scores. The 8-under-par 64 is tied for the 3rd-lowest round score by a Viking in program history (since 1993-94), as well as tied for the 3rd-lowest score vs. par.
“Ethan’s round was phenomenal,” Bennett said. “Great tournaments by Cody and Brody as well.”
Senior Adam Barker (Gig Harbor, WA/Peninsula/Olympic College) tied for 53rd with a 3-over-par 219 for the tournament after an even par 72 round on Tuesday while junior Michael Butler (Sammamish, WA/Skyline) finished the tournament tied for 93rd at 15-over-par 231.
Playing as an individual, senior Willy Scholten (Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian) tied for 67th at 5-over-par 221, recording his best round of the tournament on Tuesday at 2-under-par 70.
The Tuesday team round of 11-under par 277 was tied for the 12th-lowest score as well as tied for 7th-lowest vs. par score in the WWU record book, while the overall tournament total of 19-under-par 845 ranks in a tie for the 5th-lowest 54-hole total and tied for 3rd-lowest vs. par.
Dixie State University was the tournament champion at 25-under-par 839 to edge Colorado School of Mines at 23-under-par 841. The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs tied with the Vikings at 19-under-par 845, just ahead of Colorado Christian at 18-under-par 846 in 5th.
Britt defeated Jack Duguid of Colorado-Colorado Springs in a one-hole playoff for the individual medalist honors after the two tied at 12-under-par 204 for the tournament.
With the 2017-18 regular season now wrapped up, the Vikings will have a few weeks off to prepare for the GNAC Championships that will be held April 23-24 at Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene Idaho. WWU is the two-time defending champion of the conference tournament and has won 8 of the 10 titles since the event started in 2008.
-- @WWUMGolf --