Willamette Steps Up one Spot, Earns Fourth Place at NWC Championship

Weinhold Cards a 79 in Second Round, Finishes 12th at 166

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

RICHLAND, WASH. -- With every member improving her score from the first round, the Willamette University women's golf squad reduced its team score by 29 strokes, as the Bearcats shot a 329 in the second round of the 2012 Northwest Conference Championship Tournament at Columbia Point Golf Course on Sunday, April 22.

Mckenzie Weinhold (Fr., Placerville, CA/El Dorado HS/U. of Nevada-Reno) of Willamette, who shot an 87 in the first round, carded a 79 on Sunday to finish in 12th place with a total score of 166. In addition to leading the Bearcats, Weinhold earned Second Team All-NWC honors for her results at the NWC's three main tournaments this year.

Also lowering their scores in comparison to the first round were Nichole Smith (Fr., Portland, OR/Westview HS), LettaJoe Gallup (Fr., Alameda, CA/Holy Names HS) and Mele Ana Kastner (Fr., Vancouver, WA/Columbia River HS).

Smith went for an 87 in the first round to an 83 in the second round. Gallup achieved the greatest improvement, going from a 91 over the first 18 holes to an 80 on Sunday. Kastner reduced her score from 93 to 87. Smith finished at 170 overall, while Gallup carded 171 and Kastner finished at 180.

The individual and collective improvement from the team's score of 358 in the first round enabled the Bearcats to move up one spot from fifth place on Saturday into fourth place at the conclusion of the tournament.

Whitman College, which held a one-shot lead at 317 on the first day, registered the low score of the event with a 312 in the second round to finish in first place at 629. The Missionaries earned a five-stroke advantage on George Fox University, which took second at 634 (318-316). Whitworth University was third at 660 (333-327) and Willamette was fourth at 687 (358-329).

Linfield College slipped one position into fifth place with a score of 699 (343-356). Linfield was 15 stroke in front of Willamette at the start of the second round, but the Bearcats were 27 strokes lower than the Wildcats over the final 18 holes.

Sixth place went to Pacific University at 739 (365-374), while Pacific Lutheran University was seventh at 754 (382-372) and the University of Puget Sound was eighth at 820 (423-397). Lewis & Clark College did not field a complete team.

Willamette's score of 329 in the second round matched its lowest score of the year, set during the second day of the NWC Fall Classic on Oct. 23. The round was nine strokes better than the Bearcats' previous low round of the spring season, a 338 on the first day of the NWC Spring Classic on March 31, 2012.

The individual title went to Emily Guthrie of Whitworth, who shot 150 overall, with a 78 in the first round and a tournament-best 72 in the second round. She won by a single stroke over Kelsey Morrison from George Fox. Morrison shot 151 (74-77).

Tate Head of Whitman led a 3-4-5 finish for the Missionaries. Head's third place score was 155 (77-78). Kelley Sweeney was fourth at 156 (78-78) and Catelyn Webber was fifth at 157 (77-80). Overall, the Missionaries placed four golfers in the top eight, with Elaine Whaley claiming eighth place at 161 (85-76).

The NWC Championship Tournament counted for one-half of the overall NWC women's golf championship, with the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic each counting for one-fourth of the title.

In the final overall standings, Whitman and George Fox tied for the NWC championship with 30 points each. Whitman will receive the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament based on the tie-breaker of a better score at the NWC Championship Tournament. Whitworth finished third with 22 points, Willamette was fourth at 20, Linfield was fifth at 18, Pacific Lutheran and Pacific tied for sixth at 10 and Puget Sound was eighth with four points.

2012 Northwest Conference
Championship Tournament
At Columbia Point Golf Course
Richland, Wash.
April 21-22
Mckenzie Weinhold achieved a 79 in the second round to finish at 166, as she earned 12th place overall.

Mckenzie Weinhold achieved a 79 in the second round to finish at 166, as she earned 12th place overall.