Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
BREMERTON, Wash. - The Pacific Lutheran University men's golf team further solidified its perch atop the Northwest Conference on Sunday, owning a nine-stroke lead over the field to win the NWC Spring Classic at the Gold Mountain Golf Club.
PLU held a tenuous one-stroke lead after day one of the Spring Classic before blowing the way the field on Sunday, shaving off nine strokes to secure the win with a team tally of 583 (297-286). Willamette University was nine strokes back in second with a 592 (298-294) while Linfield College was third with a 599 (305-294) at the nine-team event.
Mitchell Baldridge secured medalist honors, shooting a 140. The junior was second after shooting a 72 in round one before uncorking a three-under 68 on Sunday to claim the top spot and finish the tournament two-under. Kyle Drugge finished tied for third, carding a 145. The senior shot a 74 on Saturday before collecting a 71 on Sunday. Thomas Huddleston was eighth with a 150 (78-72) while Alex Nelson was the fourth Lute inside the top 15, placing 14th with a 153 (78-75). Ryan Sturdivan rounded out the PLU competitors, finishing 17th with a 154 (73-81).
"This was a great event for us," said Head Coach Kris Swanson. "To play this solid under pressure in the final round of a big event is really good for our confidence. I stressed to the guys all week about the importance of having confidence. They know what they're doing, they proved it and when that happens, they gain confidence. Confidence is knowing what your doing."
The team title is the Lutes' fourth this season and puts PLU in the drivers' seat heading into the final event of the Northwest Conference season. PLU previously captured the NWC Fall Classic back on Oct. 9 at the Emerald Valley Golf Resort in Creswell, Oregon. The NWC Fall and Spring Classics both count 25 percent towards deciding the NWC title and automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament with the NWC Championships in two weeks at the Tacoma Country & Golf Club accounting for the final 50 percent.
"What impresses me the most is how in control they stay. Nothing is too big for them."
PLU returns to the links on April 22 making the short drive to Lakewood, Washington and the Tacoma C&GC for day one of the NWC Championships.
"We have another event and we are going to work hard to prepare for that just like we did for the first two conference events. This is no bigger than those. We have to keep grinding and approach NWC just like it is any other event. We want to win every event and one is no bigger than the other."