Good news for WWCC golfers in Auburn

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AUBURN, Wash. — NWAACC golfers were greeted by a steady drizzle here this morning at the Washington National Golf Course, and that was good news after Sunday’s torrential downpour.

“Conditions should be better today,” Walla Walla coach Mike Rostollan said. “Yesterday it was record rainfall, and that is saying something for this part of the world.

“It was cold, to say the least. The golf course was puttled up and we played lift-and-clean everywhere on the course, and sometimes you had to move the ball several yards. The course drained well overnight, but it’s still pretty soggy out there.”

Despite the conditions, players took advantage of shorter tee boxes.

Spokane led the men’s team standings with a 298 score, just one shot in front of Southwest Oregon and two ahead of Skagit Valley. Bellevue and Green River were tied for fourth place at 303, Olympic shot 305, Walla Walla 307, Grays Harbor 319 and Columbia Basin 322.

“The scores were surprisingly good,” Rostollan said. “To have that many schools right around 300 suggests it’s going to be very contentious this year. It looks like there is some parity going on.”

Sunday’s first round of the Green River-hosted event marked the beginning of the spring season in the NWAACC. One tournament was played in the fall, and Spokane and Green River are the frontrunners so far, followed by Walla Walla.

Brad Hunt of Skagit Valley carved out a two-under-par 70 and held the individual lead heading into today’s final round of the tournament. Hunt was just one shot in front of Ryan Maul of Bellevue and Brock Johnson of Green River, who matched 1-over 71s. Justin Wiles of Southwest Oregon shot an even-par 72 and was alone in fourth place.

The Warriors’ Grant Geelan, a freshman out of McMinnville, Ore., carded a 73 and was tied for fifth place with a pair of Spokane players, Kurt Simmons and Evan Omelia. Sage Seniga shot 75 for WWCC and was in a five-player logjam for 11th place.

Cole Sajonia scored 79 and Andrew Grove 80 for WWCC’s other two counting scores. Jon Wilson and Mike Ciev shot non-counting 82s.

Green River scored 258 for its top three scores and held the women’s team lead. Bellevue at 266, followed by CBC 268, Spokane 280 and Walla Walla 282 were the only other schools to enter full women’s squads.

The Gators’ Britney Thurber was the women’s individual leader with a 78. Suchada Anusuriva of Bellevue was just one shot back after recording a 79.

Kelsey Sage turned in an 89 for WWCC’s best score while Kelsy Bigness shot 96 and Autumn Snyder 97 for the Warriors’ other two counting scores. Stephanie Bullock, 98, and Shay Jones, 108, shot non-counters.

“We have some guys who can shoot better,” Rostollan said of his men’s team’s chances of moving up today. “I look for better play today, although nine strokes is a lot to make up in this league.

“It’s going to be cool today, the sky is gray and there’s a drizzle. But it’s more playable. Yesterday was a battle of the elements.”

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