Bearcats Improve Significantly in Second Round of NWC Championship

Simonson Cards a 75 and is 1-under-par on Back Nine

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

KENNEWICK, WASH. -- Willamette University improved its team score by 24 strokes on the second day of the Northwest Conference Championship Tournament in men's golf on Saturday, April 23 at the Canyon Lakes Golf Course. Willamette was led by Jacob Simonson (Fr., Fairview, OR/Reynolds HS), who lowered his individual score from an 84 in the first round to a 75 in the second round.

Willamette finished the tournament in eighth place, as the Bearcats moved from a 355 on the first day to 331 in the second round. Simonson jumped from a tie for 33rd after 18 holes into a tie for 20th in the final standings at 159. His 75 on Saturday tied for the seventh best round of the day among the 49 participants.

"Jacob had a great day," said Willamette Head Coach Noah Horstman. "He shot a 75 today and he was 1-under-par on the back nine. It was his best round as a college player."

Horstman said that he was pleased the overall play by the Bearcats in the second round.

"They did an awesome job. It was a great way to end the season. It was fun," Horstman said.

Linfield College won the team title with a score of 595 (301-294). Whitworth University was second at 611 (307-304) and the University of Puget Sound finished third at 617 (311-306). Pacific University was fourth at 625 (320-305), Whitman College was fifth at 629 (316-313), George Fox University placed sixth at 639 (320-319), Pacific Lutheran University took seventh at 641 (319-322), Willamette was eighth at 686 and Lewis & Clark did not field a complete team.

Alex Fitch from Linfield claimed the individual championship with a 36-hole score of 142 (70-72). Max Bonk of Pacific picked up one stroke on Fitch during the second day, but ended the day one stroke out of the lead at 143 (72-71).

Yutaro Sakamoto of Linfield placed third at 144 (74-70). Sakamoto's 70 was the low score for Saturday's round, as he matched the 70 carded by Fitch in the first round.

Greg Kirkpatrick from Puget Sound was fourth with an overall score of 148 (72-76). Jesse Salzwedel of Whitworth took fifth at 149 (73-76).

Willamette's top four finishers on the first day all reduced their scores on the second day. Simonson registered the largest improvement with a nine-stroke difference. Cole Clearman (Fr., Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS), who carded WU's second best score on Friday with an 86, achieve an 82 in the second round to finish at 168.

Brendan Dineen (Jr., Portland, OR/Grant HS), went from a 92 over the first 18 holes to an 87 in the second round. Kyle Derby (Fr. Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) lowered his score by six strokes, as he changed from a 93 on Friday to an 87 on Saturday.

NWC Men's Golf
Championship Tournament
At Canyon Lakes Golf Course
Kennewick, Wash.
April 22-23, 2011
Jacob Simonson shot a 75 in the second round to tie for the seventh lowest score of the day among 49 golfers.

Jacob Simonson shot a 75 in the second round to tie for the seventh lowest score of the day among 49 golfers.