Kuteira Wins NWC Individual Title; Bearcats Finish Second To Whitworth in Team Competition

BLUE RIVER, OR — Rio Kuteira shot a 1-under par 215 to win his second Northwest Conference individual title, but the Willamette University golf team lost the team title to Whitworth by three strokes as the NWC Men’s Golf Championship three-round tourney concluded Tuesday at Tokatee Golf Club in Blue River, OR.

The Pirates shot a final round 295 to overcome a one shot deficit to two-time defending champion Willamette University in the tournament's final round.

The Pirates finished with a three round total of 895, followed by Willamette's 898. Linfield College and Pacific Lutheran University tied for third place with team scores of 912.

Kuteria had the tournament's only sub-70 round with Monday's 68 in the second round and was the tournament's only total under par.

His Bearcat teammate Kris Hunt was second with a score of 217. Mike Van Wingerden of Whitworth finished third (220), followed by Derek Robinson of Linfield (221). Kurt Inouye (PLU), Matt Ristine (UPS) and Andrew Parrott (Whitworth) tied for fifth with a score of 223. All eight are considered All-Northwest Conference.

Whitworth used team depth to pull out the title. The Pirates had four players shoot three round totals of under 230. Parrott shot Tuesday's best score (71) to lead the comeback. Van Wingerden had a 73 and Jordan Carter added a 75. Joe Finley and Scott Kramer both shot a 76 for the Bucs.

Willamette got a 73 from both Kuteria and Hunt, as well as a 74 from Martin Kraal in Tuesday’s final round. The next best score for the Bearcats was a 79 by both Dave Eaton and Paul Crisalli.

Whitworth head coach Warren Friedrichs was named Northwest Conference Coach of the Year.