Whitworth Chosen as Frontrunner in Men's Golf Preseason Coaches Poll

Whitworth Chosen as Frontrunner in Men's Golf Preseason Coaches Poll

Team

Pts.

'19 NWC finish

Whitworth (6)

60

2nd

Willamette (2)

53

1st

Pacific Lutheran

51

4th

George Fox (1)

49

3rd

Linfield

34

6th

Puget Sound

31

5th

Pacific (Ore.)

21

T-7th

Whitman

13

9th

Lewis & Clark

12

T-7th

(Points awarded on an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Coaches could not vote for their own teams; numbers in parentheses indicate first place votes)  

The Whitworth Pirates are predicted to finish the 2019-20 year as Northwest Conference champions, as voted on by conference coaches. The Pirates tallied 60 total points and six third-place votes to earn the top spot.

Although Whitworth earned the Northwest Conference Fall and Spring Classic titles in the 2018-19 year, the Pirates placed third at the NWC Championship to finish the season runner-up to Willamette. A leader for the Pirates throughout the year, NWC Player of the Year and PING All-Region selection Derrick Phelps placed within the top three individually in all three NWC events. Outscoring Phelps by one stroke at the NWC Spring Classic, Reilly Hagarty placed second and was later named an All-NWC second team selection. Hegarty will return a senior alongside fellow senior and NWC frontrunner Keegan Loo as Head Coach Scott Kramer enters his third season with the Pirates.

The reigning Northwest Conference champions, the Willamette Bearcats place second in the poll with 53 points and two first-place votes. The Bearcats placed third at the Fall Classic and earned second place at the Spring Classic to rank third in the conference standings entering the the NWC Championship. At the final conference decider, NWC Freshman of the Year Austin Davis and Sam Hinton tied for third place in the individual standings to lead Willamette to its first NWC title since 2004. At the NCAA Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky, the Bearcats earned their best finish in program history with a score of 1228 to take 13thplace. Davis tied for 24thindividually, shooting a 299 (78-75-73-73). Davis returns a seasoned veteran for the Bearcats roster in his sophomore season as Willamette chases another NWC title NCAA postseason run.

Pacific Lutheran earned 51 points in the poll to rank third. The Lutes placed within the top three at both the NWC Fall and Spring Classics but took fourth at the NWC Championship to conclude their season fourth in final standings. Freshman standout Austin Darnell was an asset to the Lutes roster, finishing within the top six at the NWC Spring Classic and Championship. Teammate Jordan Brajcich also had a standout season as the individual medalist at the Fall Classic, also placing 17thand 14that the Spring Classic and Championship, respectively. NWC Championship 14th place finisher Jared Beals return to the Lutes roster for the 2019 season.

George Fox places fourth in the poll with 49 points. The Bruins concluded the 2018-19 season ranked third in final standings with 24 points after having placed fourth and third at the Fall and Spring Classics, respectively. The Bruins were led heavily by Mason Koch, who placed within the top six at all three NWC contests, including a first-place finish at the Spring Classic. Koch tabbed an All-NWC first team nod alongside teammate Joshua Lackey, as well as a PING All-West Region honor for his exemplary season. Koch and Lackey will return in 2019 to lead the Bruins in their efforts.

Linfield places fifth in the poll with 34 points. The Wildcats move up one spot from their 2018-19 NWC finish after earning sixth place in final conference standings. The Wildcats earned fifth place at the Fall Classic, followed by two sixth-place finishes at the Spring Classic and NWC Championship. The team was led heavily by Matthew McClure and Jackson Hval in their efforts, with Hval placing ninth at the Fall Classic, and McClure placing 14thand 8that the Spring Classic and NWC Championship, respectively. McClure returns for his senior season to lead the Wildcats as Head Coach Mitch Wilson enters his third season at the helm of the program.

With 31 points, Puget Sound places sixth in the poll. The Loggers move back one spot from their 2018-19 finish, after placing fifth in final standings. Led by Colin Rajczak, the team placed sixth at the Fall Classic, and fifth at the Spring Classic with a Mac Turner seventh place finish. Both Rajczak and Turner placed within the top 14 at the NWC Championship to take fifth, finishing the season with 15 points in final standings. An All-NWC second team selection, Turner will return alongside fellow seniors Eli Thomas and Justin Harberg as the Loggers seek to climb in conference standings this season.

Pacific (Ore.) earns 21 points to place seventh in the poll. The Boxers are predicted to finish one spot ahead of their 2018-19 finish, having placed eighth overall, including a seventh-place finish at the NWC Championship. Senior Braden Ash leads the Pacific men’s golf team, who returns four of its top five as they seek to build upon last season’s finish. 

Whitman earns 13 points to place eighth. The Blues improve one spot from last season’s finish after placing ninth in all three NWC events. All-NWC second team selection Tom Hoyne returns to the Blues roster in addition to two first-year student-athletes in Head Coach Skip Molitor’s 12thseason.

Lewis & Clark rounds out the poll with twelve points and a ninth-place standing. After placing seventh at all three NWC events in the 2018-19 season, the Pios bumped down two spots from last season’s finish. In Head Coach James Yen’s third season with the program, the Pios will seek to build on last season’s seventh-place finish.

The season will officially kick off on September 14thwith seven Northwest Conference teams competing as Pacific Lutheran hosts the Collegiate Invite at The Home Course in Dupont, Wash. and Pacific (Ore.) hosts the Pacific Invitational at Quail Valley Golf Club in Banks, Ore.

To view the complete 2019-20 men’s and women’s golf schedule, click here.