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March 31, 2012

PLU Men Take First Round Lead at NWC Spring Classic

MISSION, Ore. - Pacific Lutheran moved to the front of a tightly bunched pack after Saturday's first day of the Northwest Conference Spring Classic men's golf tournament at Wildhorse Golf Course.

The Lutes might be the leader in the clubhouse, but just five strokes separate the top four teams headed to Sunday's final round.

PLU topped the field Saturday by carding a team score (top four individuals) of 299 on a course dampened by rain and wind. Whitman, the tournament host, is a stroke back in second place while Whitworth sits in third with a 303 total. Puget Sound is fourth at 304.

Leaders of the second group, and still in contention, are Linfield at 310 and Willamette at 313. Rounding out the first-round scores are George Fox 316, Pacific 333, and Lewis & Clark 365.

Individual medalist honors also remain very much in doubt. Whitworth's Stephen Plopper shot a 3-under 69 for the day's low score, but Whitman's Scott Martin (70) and Whitworth's Jesse Salzwedel (71) are close behind after breaking par as well.

Next in line are Pacific Lutheran's Dustin Hegge with a 72 and Linfield's Alex Fitch at 73, followed by Whitman's Geoff Burks and Pacific Lutheran's Daron Casey, both of whom shot 74.

Rounding out the PLU scoring were Scott Zhang, tied for 10th with a 76, Tim Livermore, 15th with a 77, and Auston Hilkin, tied for 32nd with an 82.

Results from the Spring Classic count for 25 percent of the season-long scoring used to determine the final NWC standings and crown a conference champion.

Sunday's second and final round is set to get started with the first tee times at 9:30 a.m.

- PLU -