RICHLAND, Wash. – Kelsey Morrison of George Fox University has a three-stroke lead for medalist honors, but the Whitman College Missionaries hold a one-stroke edge over Morrison’s Bruins after the first round of the 2012 Northwest Conference Women’s Golf Championship Tournament Saturday here at the Columbia Point Golf Course.
Whitman, ranked No. 16 in the NCAA Division III, shot a four-player 18-hole score of 317 on the par-72, 5,888-yard course to a 318 for George Fox, which is ranked No. 6. Whitworth University is third at 333, followed by Linfield College at 343, Willamette University at 358, Pacific University at 365, Pacific Lutheran University at 382, the University of Puget Sound at 423, and Lewis & Clark College has an incomplete due to having only two players.
Morrison shot a two-over round of 74 to take the lead over Whitman’s duo of Tate Head and Catelyn Webber, each with first-round scores of 77. Whitworth’s Emily Guthrie and Whitman’s Kelly Sweeney both shot 78.
Other counting scores for George Fox were a 79 by Abby Mann, placing her sixth; an 81 by Megan McGrew, which is eighth; and an 84 by Jill Westendorf, tied for 11th. Filling out the Bruins’ quintet is Loreece Magsanide, who is tied for 19th with an 87.
The winner of the NWC Championship Tournament earns a double number of points toward overall conference championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Tournament that goes with it. George Fox led the standings with 16 points heading into this weekend after winning both the NWC Fall and Spring Classics, with Whitman two points back after finishing second in both.
The teams will complete the tournament with Sunday’s second round, the first group teeing off at 9:04 a.m.
Complete results of the first day of the NWC Championship Tournament, courtesy of the Whitworth sports information office, are available on the George Fox women’s golf website at http://athletics.georgefox.edu/sports/wgolf/2011-12/files/0421.htm.