Bearcats are Ready for NWC Championship Tournament

Two-Day Event Set for Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, Wash.

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's golf team will compete at the 2012 Northwest Conference Championship Tournament on April 21-22 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, Wash. The Bearcats and athletes for the other eight NWC teams will be battling to win the tournament, which counts for one-half of the overall NWC men's golf championship.

The NWC Fall Classic counts for one-fourth of the title and the NWC Spring Classic counts for one-fourth of the title. Points at each of the NWC Classic events are distributed on an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-0 basis, while points at the NWC Championship Tournament will be doubled.

Entering this weekend's competition, Linfield is in first place with 15 points, Whitman College is second with 13 points and the University of Puget Sound is third with 12. Whitworth University has 11 points in fourth place, while Pacific Lutheran University is fifth with 9, George Fox University is sixth with 6, Willamette is seventh with 4, Pacific University is eighth with 2 and Lewis & Clark is ninth with 0 points.

Willamette, featuring a talented group of sophomores and freshmen, has a young team that has worked to become more consistent, both individually and overall. The Bearcats carded 641 during both the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic, but the team scores varied by 13 strokes in the fall (327-314) and by 15 strokes in the spring (313-328). Willamette can contend with the top teams this weekend with consistent play.

Leading the Bearcats at most tournaments this year has been freshman Ryan Kukula (Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS). He tied for eighth place at the NWC Spring Classic with a 36-hole score of 153 (78-75). He has put together several rounds near and below par. His low round of the year was a 66 at Quail Valley Golf Course during the Pacific Invitational last fall.

Jonathan Ross (Fr., Tukwila, WA/foster HS) also has been contributing solid rounds for the Bearcats this spring. He finished ninth at the Willamette Invitational last weekend.


2012 NWC Men's Golf
Championship Tournament
At Canyon Lakes Golf Course
Kennewick, Wash.

Ryan Kukula carded a low-round of 66 during the fall season.

Ryan Kukula carded a low-round of 66 during the fall season.