Written by Student Assistant McKenna Morin
TACOMA, Wash. - The last competition before the Northwest Conference Championships arrives this weekend with the Pacific Lutheran University men's golf team looking to regroup from its California trip with a strong showing this weekend at the NWC Spring Classic in Bremerton, Washington.
The Lutes and the rest of the NWC will compete on Saturday and Sunday at the Gold Mountain Golf Course, a familiar venue for PLU, having previously competed there at the Puget Sound Invitational on Mar. 4-5. The NWC Classic counts 25 percent towards naming an NWC Champion. The Lutes already have a leg up on the rest of the conference, having won the NWC Fall Classic in decisive fashion back on Oct. 9. The Fall Classic counts towards 25 percent of the NWC Championship race with the NWC Championships in two weeks account towards the remaining 50 percent.
Sophomore Ryan Sturdivan placed 56th at the West Cup in La Verne, California back on Mar. 27 and 28, a three-round event that featured four Top 25 teams and nine squads ranked in the Golfstat Top 40 rankings. The Lutes finished 12th at the 16 team event with the trip serving as one of the team's highlights of the entire spring season. Not only is it a nice change to play in the sun, but they also have the opportunity to play against really great competition.
"We didn't play as expected but we're trying to bounce back," Sturdivan said. "We have the conference tournament coming up and we plan to do really well. Hopefully we can take home the conference and then continue on to nationals."
Even though the team didn't quite reach their goals over spring break, they continue to hold on to, and strive to reach their overall season goals.
"We are coming closer as a team, which our coach says is the most important thing," Sturdivan said.
Their goal, to reach Nationals, is more easily accomplished as a unit, rather than as individuals.
"We are the most team oriented, which is super important to be able to do well at conference."
Sturdivan added that even though California didn't go as planned, it was still an important team bonding and growing experience.
"It was a true blessing and a really good experience for us."
As the team prepares for the end of their season, they are keeping their team values and core beliefs in focus.
"Coming together as a team and getting work done is how we win," Sturdivan said. "Now all we have to do is go out and do our best."
After this weekend's NWC Spring Classic, the Lutes host the NWC Championships on April 22 and 23 at the Tacoma Country & Golf Club in Lakewood, Washington.