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PLU Finishes Third at Men's Golf Fall Classic

Auston Hilkin

RIDGEFIELD, Wash. - Pacific Lutheran improved its second round score by 11 strokes, but first-day leader Whitworth was just that much better in winning the NWC Fall Classic men's golf tournament that concluded today at Tri-Mountain Golf Course.

After an opening 309 on Saturday, the Lutes carded a 298 on Sunday for a two-day score of 607. Whitworth had a first round score of 301 and today finished with a two-under 286 for a total of 587, 11-over-par for 36 holes. That score easily gave the Pirates the victory by 19 strokes over second place Puget Sound's 606 (302-304), followed by PLU's 607. Rounding out the team scores were Linfield (318-295) and Whitman (320-293) with 613, Willamette 624 (326-298), George Fox 629 (315-314), Lewis & Clark 670 (333-337) and Pacific 681 (337-344).

The first of three counting tournaments towards the NWC championship, the teams earn one point for every team they beat in the Fall Classic toward the championship point standings.

Willamette's Ryan Kukula, three strokes off the pace with a first-day 74, carded a 68 on Sunday for a two-round total of 142, two-under par. Second place went to Whitworth's Jesse Salzwedel with 73-70 - 143, followed by PLU's Dustin Hegge with 71-73 - 144. Hegge, who won the NWC Fall Classic in 2011, was the first round leader with his 71 on Saturday.

Pacific Lutheran's Justin Lee finished in a tie for 13th place with a 79-73 - 152, and Seth Nickerson was one stroke back in 16th with a 77-76 - 153 total. Tim Livermore tied for 24th with 82-76 - 158, and Auston Hilkin placed 34th with 83-82 - 165.

The NWC Fall Classic concludes the fall portion of the 2012-13 season. Pacific Lutheran starts its spring season the first week in March at the George Fox Invitational at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.

- PLU -