NWC CHAMPIONSHIP: Bruins Finish NWC Tourney and Season in 8th Place
BLUE RIVER, Ore. - Although they were able to shave 16 strokes off their first-day score, the George Fox University Bruins were unable to climb past anyone else and finished eighth in the Northwest Conference Men's Golf Championship Tournament Sunday here at the Tokatee Golf Course, winding up in the same spot in the overall final NWC standings.
The Bruins followed up their day one score of 343 with a 327 on the par 72 course, completing the tournament with a 670. Linfield College held onto its lead to win the NWC Championship with a 303-301=604. Pacific Lutheran climbed from fourth to second with a 314-299=613, the University of Puget Sound stayed third with a 311-304=615, and Pacific University slid from second to fourth with a 306-312=618. Whitman College took fourth (315-322=637), followed by Whitworth University (331-313=644), Willamette University (327-323=650), and George Fox. Lewis & Clark College had no entries.
Brothers David and Aaron Burkhart had the Bruins' best rounds on Sunday, David with a 38-42=80 and Aaron with a 37-43=80. Mike Ulstad was one stroke back at 38-43=81,while Matt Fanning's 43-43=86 also counted for the Bruins. Dustin Churchill carded a 42-46=88 and Kelton Johnson scored a 42-47=89.
Overall, Ulstad led the Bruins with a two-day score of 78-81=159, tying for 18th in the individual standings. David Burkhart shot an 87-80=179, tying for 34th, Aaron Burkhart tied for 36th with an 88-80=168, Johnson was 44th at 90-89=179, Fanning tied for 45th with a 95-86=181, and Churchill was 47th with a 97-88=185.
Max Bonk of Pacific took medalist honors with a one-over-par 70-75=145, five strokes ahead of a trio of runner-ups: Brian Barton of Willamette (72-78=150), Kyle Spitzer of Pacific Lutheran (78-72=150), and Tyler Nelson of Linfield (78-72=150). Three others tied for fifth: Andrew Fitch of Linfield (74-77=151), Yutaro Sakamoto of Linfield (75-76=151), and Jason Casey of Pacific Lutheran (73-78=151). Those seven comprised the All-Conference Team.
In the final conference standings, which included the NWC Fall and Spring Classics and the NWC Championship, the latter counting double, Linfield emerged as the champion with 30 points, followed by Pacific and Puget Sound with 25, Pacific Lutheran with 19, Whitworth with 15, Willamette and Whitman with 13, George Fox with 4, and Lewis & Clark had no points. Linfield will represent the conference at the NCAA Division III National Championship May 13-16 at Port St. Lucie, Fla.