Bearcats Pass Wildcats for First Place at Willamette Invitational

Kim from OSU wins Medalist Honors; Kukula and Lewis Tie for Second

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's golf team, led by exceptional play from Ryan Kukula (So., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) and Jeffrey Lewis (So., Eugene, OR/Sheldon HS) on the second day of the Willamette Invitational, rallied past Linfield College to claim the team championship on Sunday, March 3.

Willamette trailed by six strokes after the first day on Saturday, but beat the Wildcats by nine strokes over the final 18 holes. The Bearcats shot 322 in the opening round and 312 on Sunday to finish at 634 for the tournament. Linfield, which carded a team score of 316 on the first day, shot 321 in the second round to conclude the weekend at 637.

Pacific University, which shot 332-318 for a total score of 650, took third place.

Scott Kim of Oregon State University earned medalist honors, as he achieved an overall score of 1-under-par 143. He shot a 71 in the first round to take the lead into Sunday's action. He added an even-par 72 on the second day. OSU did not field a complete team.

Kukula and Lewis led Willamette's charge over the final 18 holes, as both golfers finished at 151 and tied for second place behind Kim. Kukula recorded the low score among all golfers on Sunday with a 71, as he tied Kim's first-round total for the lowest 18-hole score of the tournament. At the end of the first round, Kukula was tied for sixth place after shooting an 80.

Lewis carded a 74 for the Bearcats in the second round to go along with a 77 in the first round.

Following Kim, Kukula and Lewis on the leaderboard were Josh Mau of Pacific in fourth place and A.J. Taylor of Linfield in fifth place. Mau carded a 152, as he shot 75-77. Taylor improved from a 78 in the first round to a 75 i the second round, as he gained a total score of 153.

Joining Kukula and Lewis in producing Willamette's team score on Sunday were Stephan Bartz (Fr., San Francisco, CA/San Francisco University HS) and Collin Fuller (Fr., Grants Pass, OR/Grants Pass HS). Bartz concluded the 36 holes at 168 (83-85), while Fuller ended the weekend at 170 (88-82). Steven Rodriguez (Fr., Red Bluff, CA/Mercy HS) carded a 174 (82-92).

Willamette's Evan Fleming (Fr., Park City, UT/Park City HS), who competed as an individual, tied for ninth overall at 165 (82-83). Cole Altuzarra (Jr., Laguna Niguel, CA/Dana Hills HS) of WU also competed as an individual. He shot 183 (90-93) for the tournament.

The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10 at the Pacific Invitational. The tournament will be held at The Reserve Vineyards Golf Club in Aloha, Ore.

Willamette Invitational
Illahe Hills Country Club
Salem, Ore.
March 2-3, 2013
Ryan Kukula led all golfers on the second day with a 71, as he moved into a tie with teammate Jeffrey Lewis for second place.

Ryan Kukula led all golfers on the second day with a 71, as he moved into a tie with teammate Jeffrey Lewis for second place.