Bearcats Shoot 3-under Par for Second Place after First Day of Pacific Invitational

WU Freshman Kukula Tops Leaderboard after 18 Holes

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

BANKS, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's golf team shot 3-under par 285 on the first day of the Pacific Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Quail Valley Golf Course. The Bearcats held second place, just two shots behind the team leader, Linfield College, which carded a 5-under par 283 during the first round.

Willamette's Ryan Kukula (Fr.) was in first place at the conclusion of the first round with a score of 66, good for 6-under par. Will Ferguson (Fr.) of WU was part of a three-way tie for fourth overall with a score of 69. Also contributing to the Bearcats' team score were Taylor Mutch (Fr.) at 74 and Jonathan Ross (Fr.) at 76.

Other golfers competing for Willamette were Brandon Shin (Fr.) and Jacob Simonson (So.). Shin carded a 77 and Simonson shot 81.

Three of Willamette's golfers made an eagle during the round. Kukula chipped in for his eagle on the fifth hole and Mutch eagled with a chip shot at the 10th hole. Ferguson earned his eagle with a putt on the 17th green.

At the end of the day, Kukula held a 1-stroke lead over Joey Duwe of Corban College, who shot a 67. A.J. Taylor from Linfield was third with a 68. Ferguson was tied for fourth with Roger Hults of Pacific University and Alex Fitch of Linfield after all three shot a 69.

Linfield's 283 and Willamette's 285 set the pace for the day. Corban followed in third place at 293, while Pacific was fourth at 297. George Fox University was fifth at 311 and Whitman College was sixth at 312.

The 36-hole tournament will conclude with the second round on Sunday, Sept. 25.

"The team played exceptionally well and we're looking forward to finishing strong tomorrow," Willamette Head Coach Noah Horstman said.

Computer results were not available on Saturday.

Sophomore Jacob Simonson and five freshmen provided six solid rounds for the Bearcats on Saturday.

Sophomore Jacob Simonson and five freshmen provided six solid rounds for the Bearcats on Saturday.