Shooting what may have been his best-ever round of competitive golf, junior Kyle Buckingham paced Whitman with a 5-over par 77 in Saturday's opening round of the Northwest Conference golf championships at the Apple Tree Golf Course in Yakima, Wash.

With morning temperatures in the 30s and snow showers falling at one point, Buckingham shot 42 on the first nine and then closed with a 35 on the back nine. Sophomore Paul De Barros and freshman Noah Jolley had scores of 90 and 91, respectively, and sophomore Grant Brandal rounded out Whitman's team score (359) with a 101. Junior Jared Burns also competed for Whitman, shooting a 102.

Pacific's Max Bonk took the first-day individual lead with a 4-under par 68. Linfield's Andrew Fitch shot 69 while two of his teammates, Tyler Nelson and Kyle Henderson, both carded 72. Linfield was in first place in team scoring with a 288 total.

The men's championships conclude Sunday with a second round of 18 holes.