Men Shoot Into Fourth at NWC Golf Finals

News Release Date:
Saturday, April 24

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With freshman Geoff Burks shooting the day's third-best score, the Whitman College men's golf team was in fourth place after Saturday's opening round of the Northwest Conference Championships at Heron Lakes Golf Course in Portland, Ore.

  NWC Men's Golf Championships 


Geoff Burks

Burks shot 39 on both nines for a 78 that had him just four strokes back of the leader, Whitworth's Ryan Young. Four golfers were tied for second place at 77.

In the team scoring, Whitman posted a 321 total for its top four golfers. That left the Missionaries just three strokes behind third-place Puget Sound.

Whitworth was in first with a 309, one shot in front of Linfield.

John Abercrombie

"We played pretty well today," Whitman coach Peter McClure said. "The scores were high for the entire field, but this is a tough, long course with water on more than half of the holes. If you make a mistake here, you will pay for it."

The weather also was a factor, especially early in the day when winds kicked up and rain fell, McClure said. 

Sophomore John Abercrombie shot 80 for Whitman's second-best score. Senior Steve Campbell carded an 81, one stroke better than freshmen Peter Clark and Drew Raher.

Sophomore David DeVine had trouble on the final hole, knocking two balls into the water to take a quadruple-bogey eight that inflated his score to 86.

"All of the guys on all of the teams had horror stories to tell with the water," McClure said. "If we can limit our double- and triple-bogeys tomorrow, we're going to have a really good round."

Steve Campbell

Burks had Saturday's most steady round. He had just one birdie but his worst hole was a double-bogey on No. 8. Abercombie had two birdies but was victimized  by a double-bogey on No. 4 and a triple on No. 14.

Both Burks and Abercrombie finished their rounds on a strong note, shooting even-par golf over their final four holes. That wasn't the case for Campbell, who saw an otherwise strong round lose five strokes to par on the last three holes. 

"What really hurt Steve was No. 18," McClure said. "He put two balls in the water and finished with a triple-bogey seven."

Clark also had troubles down the stretch, dropping four shots to par over the last three holes.

Raher had one of the day's most steady rounds. While he didn't make any birdies, he also shot no worse than a bogey on any hole. 

Based on season-long scoring, Whitman entered this weekend in a three-way tie with George Fox and Pacific for fifth place in the conference standings. 

With its 321 total in today's round, Whitman was two strokes in front of both Pacific and Pacific Lutheran. George Fox was six strokes back in seventh place. Willamette and Lewis & Clark were well back in seventh and eighth.

"Our guys are optimistic and looking forward to a strong finish tomorrow," McClure said. "It would be great to get four or five or guys scoring in the 70s, and that's something we can do."

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902;