HILLSBORO, Ore. – The Northwest Conference men's and women's golf teams will face off this weekend at the NWC Fall Classic, hosted by Linfield at Michelbook Country Club in McMinnville, Ore.
At the 2018 NWC Women's Golf Championship, Whitman edged George Fox by six strokes to tie the Bruins overall with 30 points. Although both teams were named NWC co-champions, the Blues secured the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, while the Bruins earned an at-large bid. At the NCAA Championship at Mission Inn in Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla., the Bruins finished third overall with a four-day total of 1272 for their third consecutive top-three finish. The Blues finished seventh overall, finishing with a team score of 1298.
Whitworth finished the 2017-18 season ranked third in NWC final standings after finishing third at all three NWC competitions. The Pirates rounded out the season with 24 points.
Last season, Lewis & Clark and Pacific Lutheran finished fourth and fifth overall, respectively. The Pioneers finished the season with 20 points, while the Lutes accumulated 16. Puget Sound and Pacific (Ore.) were neck-and-neck after a sixth-place tie at the 2017 Fall Classic, but the Loggers pulled out a sixth-place overall finish with a total of 9.5 points after a sixth-place NWC Championship showing, despite an eighth-place 2018 Spring Classic finish. The Boxers finished in seventh, accumulating 7.5 points, finishing in sixth-place at the 2018 Spring Classic and an eighth-place finish at the NWC Championship. Willamette finished eighth overall with four points – all of which came from a seventh-place NWC Championship finish. Linfield finished the season in ninth, with two points accumulated from an eighth-place 2018 Spring Classic finish.
NCAA First-Team All-American and All-NWC First-Team selection Shiyang Fan of Whitman will face off against Lewis & Clark's Annie McCutchen and Pacific's Briana Finau in the first round pairings. 2018 All-NWC First-Team selection Iris Kawada of George Fox will be paired with Pacific Lutheran's Sami Briney and Willamette's Lexi Towner. 2018 All-NWC Second-Team selection Maggie Peters of Whitworth will tee it up against Puget Sound's Emmi Modal and Linfield's Katy Mahr.
Pacific Lutheran claimed the NWC men's golf title in the 2017-18 season with 30 points overall. Despite taking third at the 2017 Fall Classic behind Willamette and George Fox, respectively, the Lutes took first at the Spring Classic and NWC Championship to secure the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. The team finished 16th overall at the NCAA Championship at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. with a team score of 1208 to record the best finish in program history.
Whitworth finished behind the Lutes in second with a cumulative 26 points. After a fourth-place finish at the 2017 Fall Classic, the Pirates bounced back and finished second at both the Spring Classic and the NWC Championship. The Bearcats of Willamette finished just two points behind the Pirates in third in the 2017-18 season. The team claimed the 2017 Fall Classic title but finished fifth at the Spring Classic and third at the NWC Championship to finish the season with 24 points.
The George Fox Bruins finished fourth overall, tallying 21 points from a second-place 2017 Fall Classic finish, a third-place showing at the 2018 Spring Classic, and a fifth-place NWC Championship finish. Two points behind the Bruins, Linfield finished the 2017-18 season in fifth with 10 points. The Wildcats had two fourth-place showings at the 2018 Spring Classic and the NWC tournament, and one fifth-place finish at the 2017 Fall Classic. Puget Sound accumulated 10 points overall, six of which came from two sixth-place finishes at the Fall and Spring Classics, and four coming from a seventh-place NWC Championship finish. Despite finishing eighth at the Fall and Spring Classics, Whitman finished the NWC Championship in sixth to earn a cumulative eight points to finish seventh overall. Pacific (Ore.) finished eighth across the board to earn eighth-place overall, while Lewis & Clark rounded out NWC men's golf final standings in ninth.
Day one pairings will see 2018 NWC Freshman of the Year Austin Darnell paired with 2018 All-NWC First-Team honoree Mason Koch of George Fox and Whitman's Tom Hoyn. 2018 All-NWC Second-Team selection Keegan Loo of Whitworth will match up against Linfield's Jackson Hval and Pacific's Zachariah Rodriguez. 2018 All-NWC Second-Team honoree Trent Jones of Willamette is paired with Puget Sound's Reyna Hoshide and Lewis & Clark's Jacob Bell.
Selected as the top team in the NWC by conference coaches, the Bruins women's team will seek their fifth consecutive NWC Fall Classic title. Also voted as first-place contenders, the Lutes men's team looks to bounce back from last year's third-place NWC Fall Classic finish.
For a complete list of Day 1 pairings, click here.