WWU eighth after first day at Viking Invitational

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 24, 2013 

24 WWU Invitational

Western's Kyle Schrader during the first day of the WWU men's golf invitational at Bellingham Golf and Country Club in Bellingham, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

Western Washington University is eighth among 11 teams, eight strokes off the lead, after two rounds at the 42nd Annual Viking Men's Golf Invitational Tournament, which began Monday, Sept. 23, in rainy conditions at the 6,561-yard Bellingham Golf and Country Club.

Tuesday's third and final round begins at 7:45 a.m.

The defending champion Vikings, ranked No. 9 in the Golf World/Nike Golf NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll, posted rounds of 299 and 296 for a 36-hole total of 595.

"The conditions were not easy by any means and they had to deal with the rain most of the day," WWU interim coach Luke Bennett said in a news release. "Then the greens got a little bumpy and we saw some shorter putts not go our way, so we were just not able to get any momentum."

Tied for the team lead at 11-over par 587 are Sonoma State (293-294) and Simon Fraser (299-288). British Columbia is third at 588 (298-290) and Montana State Billings, which shot the best round of the day, is fourth at 589 (303-286).

Saint Martin's (302-289) and nationally No. 14 Hawaii Hilo (300-291) are tied for fifth at 591 with Dixie State is seventh at 592 (300-292).

Dixie State's Kenny You is the medalist leader at 7-under par 137 (72-65). Tied for second, just one stroke behind, at 138 are Brad Harrelson (72-66) from MSUB and Alex Marry (71-67) from Sonoma State.

WWU's Mark Strickland, the defending champion, is in a three-way tie for seventh at 145 (72-73) and Jack Kelly is in a four-way tie for 10th at 146 (76-70).

"Jack played solid for most of the day," Bennett said. "From what I saw from tee to green he played well and always had a smile. I hope to see more of that tomorrow. I know the guys have some very high expectations, they're out there working their tails off because they want it so bad. But that can almost hinder them because they're putting so much pressure on themselves that it hurts their scores.

"We had a good little chat afterward. We're only eight shots back, so it's very doable, especially on our home course. They know it better than anyone else. So, they left in good spirits and are looking forward to getting after it tomorrow."

The Vikings' Brennan Emory is tied for 28th at 151 (75-76), Anthony Allen is tied for 38th at 153 (76-77) and Kyle Schrader is tied for 45th at 155 (77-78).

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