Apr 28, 2019

Bruins Share Second Consecutive Championship, Clinch NWC AQ

A Winning Tradition

  • Nine NCAA D-III National Championship Tournaments (2010-8th; 2011-12th; 2012-7th; 2013-4th; 2014-9th; 2015-6th; 2016-T-3rd; 2017-2nd; 2018 -3rd)
  • Nine Northwest Conference Champions (2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017; 2018)
  • Nine Top 25 National Rankings (2010-7th; 2011-7th; 2012-7th; 2013-5th; 2014-10th; 2015 - 2nd; 2016-2nd; 2017-1st; 2018-1st)
  • 10 straight winning seasons (2009-18)
  • 70 tournament wins in program's 10 seasons
  • 15 All-Americans, 21 All-West Region players, 37 All-Conference players
  • Two PING National Player of the Year (Kelsey Morrison, 2013; Sydney Maluenda, 2015)
  • One WGCA National Freshman of the Year (Sydney Maluenda, 2014)
  • Eight NWC Players of the Year
  • Three West Region Coach of the Year awards (2009-10, 2015-16, 2016-17)
  • Five NWC Coach of the Year awards (2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17)
  • Six WGCA All-American Scholars, Three Academic All-District student-athletes
  • Six Academic All-Americans 
 

By Seth Preuss

WALLA WALLA ---The No. 2-ranked George Fox women's golf team captured its second consecutive Northwest Conference Co-Championship on Sunday, April 28, after placing second in the NWC Tournament. The Bruins also won a one-hole playoff against the Blues to secure the conference automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.

Recap:

The Bruins led by two strokes after round one with a team score of 318. Janelle Decker played the low round for the Burins in the first trip through the greens with a 77, while Alex McMenamin was one stroke off at 78. Iris Kawada rounded out the top three performers in round one with an 81.

After their first trip around the course, the Bruins showed an eight-stroke improvement on day two as a team. Kayle Hunn made the most improvement individually, cutting six strokes off her card and shooting a team-low 76 on the second walk around the fairways.

Kawada, McMenamin, and Rachel Drgastin each shot a 78 on their second play-through, and Decker rounded out the group with a card of 80 in her second round.

The Blues made an even more dramatic improvement from day one to day two, however, and cut 19 strokes off their team score from round one to round two and finished with both the low round of the day – 301 on day two – and the tourney medalist.

The Blues forced a one-hole playoff for the second year in a row with their NWC Tournament win – because the Bruins had already won the Fall Classic and Spring Classic. The Blues' win forced the tiebreaker playoff, but the Bruins were able to flip the script from 2018 by winning the playoff for the AQ bid to the NCAA postseason.

The Bruins' top four defeated Whitman after each made par on the playoff played on the 18th hole, while the Blues bogeyed to give the Bruins a win and the AQ. "That's a really tricky par-five, and we played it brilliantly for win which is a credit to our team," Coach Mary Jo McCloskey said after the playoff 

Top Performers:

All five Bruins finished in the Top 10 of the field of 39. McMenamin finished second overall with a final card of 156 after back-to-back rounds of 78, and Decker ended in a two-way tie for third with a card of 157. Hunn's card of 158 was good enough for fifth overall, Kawada finished in a tie for sixth with a card of 159, and Drgastin tied for ninth with three others at 163 for the tournament.

What It Means:

The Bruins are back in the postseason again after clinching a share of the championship and the NWC AQ bid. The shared title also means that the Bruins have now won 10 consecutive NWC titles, shared or outright, and have qualified for ten straight trips to the NCAA Championships.

What Happens Next:

The Bruins will make a trip to Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas, for the NCAA Championship on May 14-17, 2019.

This release was edited Apr. 30, 2019, to reflect updated scores received from the NWC Championship host Whitman College.