Kukula Earns Player of the Year after Finishing Second at NWC Tournament

Bearcats Take 7th in Tournament, Place 6th in Overall Standings

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

WOODBURN, ORE. -- Ryan Kukula (So., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) of Willamette University carded a 71 on the second day of the Northwest Conference Championship Tournament in men's golf on Sunday, April 21 to finish second in the individual standings with a two-day score of 143. Kukula, who took first place at the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic, was named NWC Player of the Year.

In the team standings at the NWC Championship Tournament, the Bearcats finished seventh with a score of 630. Willamette took sixth place in the overall championship standings, which included the Fall Classic, Spring Classic and Championship Tournament.

Whitworth won the team title at the Championship Tournament and also achieved the overall NWC title. The Pirates earned first place at all three championship events.

Adam Ruben of Linfield College registered his second straight 1-under-par 71 to win medalist honors at the NWC Championship Tournament with a score of 142. He won by one stroke over Kukula and by two strokes over Adam Bean from the University of Puget Sound. Bean shot a 36-hole score of 144 (72-72).

The two 71s by Ruben and Kukula's 71 in the second round were three of the five scores below par during the tournament. Dustin Hegge of Pacific Lutheran University and Jesse Salzwedel from Whitman College also shot 71 on Sunday. A total of 24 golfers shot 79 or lower in the first round and 25 golfers recorded scores of 79 or lower in the second round.

Following Ruben, Kukula and Bean on the leaderboard were five competitors tied for fourth place at 148. They were Geoff Burks of Whitman (74-74), Scott Martin of Whitman (77-71), Lyle Rudnicki of Whitworth University (74-74), Oliver Rudnicki of Whitworth (76-72) and Derek Wilson from Puget Sound (75-73).

Hegge of PLU and Taylor Klopp of Linfield tied for ninth place at 149. Hegge recorded 78-71, while Klopp shot 72-77. Salzwedel of Whitman finished 11th at 150 (79-71).

The Pirates took first place at the NWC Championship Tournament with a 36-hole score of 593 (297-296), after trailing Linfield by two strokes at the end of the first day. Linfield dropped seven strokes to Whitworth in the second round and finished second at 598 (295-303). Puget Sound was third with a score of 604 (304-300).

Whitman earned fourth place at 613 (310-303), holding off Pacific Lutheran, which placed fifth at 616 (313-303). Lewis & Clark College was sixth at 629 (322-307), just one point in front of Willamette, which took seventh place at 630 (320-310). Willamette improved by 10 strokes on the second day to shoot 310, but L&C made up a two-point deficit by shooting 307.

Pacific University was eighth with a score of 643 (320-323). The Boxers began the day tied with Willamette for sixth place. George Fox University was ninth at 688 (353-335).

Kukula topped Willamette's team scorecard with his 143. Steven Rodriguez (Fr., Red Bluff, CA/Mercy HS) shot 159 (79-80) for the tournament, while Collin Fuller (Fr., Grants Pass, OR/Grants Pass HS) improved by 10 strokes on the second day to register an overall score of 164 (87-77). Jeffrey Lewis (So., Eugene, OR/Henry D. Sheldon HS) carded a 166 (84-82) and Jonathan Ross shot 169 (85-84).

First Team All-Conference recognition went to Ryan Kukula of Willamette, Lyle Rudnicki from Whitworth, Adam Ruben from Linfield, Adam Bean of UPS, Jesse Salzwedel of Whitworth and Derek Wilson of UPS. Whitworth Head Coach Warren Friedrichs was chosen NWC Coach of the Year.

Second Team All-NWC honors were achieved by Dustin Hegge of PLU, Geoff Burks of Whitman, Oliver Rudnicki from Whitworth, Stephen Plopper of Whitworth, Scott Martin from Whitman and Joey DeGroff from Whitworth.

In the overall NWC championship standings, Whitworth took first place by earning 32 points during the three events. The NWC Fall Classic (8 points) and the NWC Spring Classic (8 points) each counted as one-fourth of the title, while the NWC Championship Tournament (16 points) was worth one-half of the total.

Whitworth was followed in the final standings by Linfield in second with 24.5 points and by Puget Sound in third with 24 points. Pacific Lutheran attained fourth place with 21 points, Whitman was fifth with 17.5 points, Willamette finished sixth with 11 points, Lewis & Clark took seventh with 8 points, Pacific was eighth with 4 points and George Fox was ninth with 2 points.

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Northwest Conference
Championship Tournament
OGA Golf Course
Woodburn, Ore.
April 20-21, 2013

Final Results

Ryan Kukula of Willamette shot 143 for second place at the NWC Championship Tournament. He was named NWC Player of the Year.

Ryan Kukula of Willamette shot 143 for second place at the NWC Championship Tournament. He was named NWC Player of the Year.