Bearcats Hold Second Place after Windy First Day at NWC Spring Classic

Kukula and Lamothe are Both Tied for Sixth Place

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

KENNEWICK, WASH. -- With two golfers tied for sixth place and another tied for 10th, the Willamette University men's golf team ended the first day of the Northwest Conference Spring Classic in second place in the team standings. The Bearcats responded to the very windy conditions at Canyon Lakes Golf Course with a solid round.

Ryan Kukula (Jr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) and Chase Lamothe (Fr., Corvallis, OR/Corvallis HS) were tied with two other golfers for sixth place with scores of 78. Clark Wilson (Fr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) owned half of a two-way tie for 10th after carding a 79.

Also golfing for the Bearcats were Steven Rodriguez (So., Red Bluff, CA/Mercy HS) and Peter Mitzel (Fr., Red Bluff, CA/Red Bluff HS). Rodriguez carded an 81, while Mitzel registered an 82.

Whitworth University owned a 12-shot lead in the team standings after the Pirates shot a combined score of 304. Willamette's score in second place was 316, which gave the Bearcats a three-stroke cushion over the University of Puget Sound, which held third place at 319. Pacific Lutheran University was fourth at 321.

Linfield College was next in fifth place at 326, while Whitman College was sixth at 338. Pacific University filled seventh place at 339, just one stroke behind Whitman. Lewis & Clark College was eighth at 356 and George Fox University was ninth at 372.

Oliver Rudnicki of Whitworth was the one player who mastered the weather conditions on Saturday, as he achieved an even-par 72 for a four-stroke lead. Two of his Whitworth teammates, Stephen Plopper and Jesse Salzwedel, were tied for second place at 76.

Another pair of golfers -- Dustin Hegge of Pacific Lutheran and Joshua Mau of Pacific -- matched each other in fourth place with 77s. Kukula and Lamothe were tied for sixth at 78, along with Ben Hayes from Puget Sound and Daniel Hoffman from Whitman.

Wilson was joined in 10th place by Adam Bean of Puget Sound, who also shot a 79.

The NWC Spring Classic will conclude with the final round on Sunday, April 6, starting at 8 a.m. (PDT). The Spring Classic counts for one-fourth of the overall NWC Championship, while the NWC Fall Classic, which Willamette won in October, counts for another fourth.

One-half of the NWC title is determined by the NWC Tournament, set for April 26-27 at the Oregon Golf Association Golf Course in Woodburn, Ore.

NWC Spring Classic
Canyon Lakes Golf Course
Kennewick, Wash.
April 5-6, 2014
Par 72
Ryan Kukula and teammate Chase Lamothe were tied for sixth place after the first round of the NWC Spring Classic.

Ryan Kukula and teammate Chase Lamothe were tied for sixth place after the first round of the NWC Spring Classic.