Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LAS VEGAS, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Golf team faced a tough challenge earlier this week taking part in the Las Vegas Desert Classic, held at Royal Links Golf Club.
The Purple & Gold faced a tough field, which included some of the top Division II teams in the country, while being joined by other Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) schools Redlands and Pomona-Pitzer. A total of 11 Division II programs played accompanied by four Division III teams. Out of those 15 teams who participated, nine of them were nationally ranked in their respective divisions.
Whittier played three rounds and totaled a 957. After Day 1 they sat in 14th with a 321 and despite shooting a 318-318 over the next two days of competition they couldn't make a move as they fell to 15th. The top 5 teams that finished included No. 3 West Florida (839), No. 29 Missouri – St. Louis (852), No. 10 St. Mary's (TX) (863), No. 6 Oklahoma Christian University (879), Northeastern State (881), and Texas @ Tyler (881).
The University of Redlands finished 7th overall with an 882. Hawaii Pacific at No. 8 (883), followed by No. 32 Washburn (9th – 885), No. 45 Central Oklahoma (10th – 886), No. 26 Wingate University (11th – 890), No. 39 Colorado Mesa (12th – 894). Finishing ahead of the Poets was Pomona-Pitzer (13th – 928) and Southern New Hampshire (14th – 932).
The Purple & Gold were all bunched together in the final results. Freshman Justin McGrath (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) moved up two spots to 72nd. He posted scores of 81-80-76 making him the Poets' top finisher for the second weekend in a row. Freshman Roman Aragon (La Palma, Calif.) also moved up two spots into 74th going 83-79-81. He was joined in 74th place by Vincent Brunet (Ottawa, Canada) (82-81-80) and Brandon Folke (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) (84-78-81).
The last Poet to score was Ryan Turnbull-Ward (Perth, West Australia) who took 78th dropping 13 spots after going 75-81-89.
Whittier returns to the links over Spring Break, March 23-24 when they take part in the Texas Cup. They travel to Plano, TX, playing at Watters Creek Golf Club.