RICHLAND, Wash. – Whitman upset fifth-ranked George Fox to win the 2012 Northwest Conference Women's Golf Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Columbia Point Golf Course, claiming the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Whitworth's Emily Guthrie rallied with a final round of 72 on Sunday to claim individual medalist honors, overcoming a four-stroke deficit after Saturday's round.
Whitman and George Fox finish tied atop the final NWC standings based on results from the NWC Fall Classic, the NWC Spring Classic and the NWC Tournament and are considered co-champions. However the league's tiebreaker for the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament is head to head results at the final tournament. The highly-ranked Bruins seem a strong bet for earning at at-large bid to the national tournament.
The Missionaries increased their one-stroke lead after Saturday by posting three rounds in the high 70's on Sunday.
The final team scores for NWC Tournament were: Whitman 317-312 – 629, George Fox 318-316 – 634, Whitworth 333-327 – 660, Willamette 358-329 – 687, Linfield 343-356 – 699, Pacific 365-374 – 739, Pacific Lutheran 382-372 – 754, Puget Sound 423-397 – 820, Lewis & Clark incomplete.
Guthrie fired a 33 on the back nine to shot her 72 on Sunday, the best round of the tournament by two strokes. She was able to overcome a four-stroke deficit to George Fox's Kelsey Morrison (74-77 – 151) at the midway point. Morrison finished as the tournament runner up.
Whitman's Tate Head birdied the 18th hole to edge teammate Kelly Sweeney for third place. Head shot 77-78 – 155, while Sweeney went 78-78 – 156. Catelyn Webber (77-80 – 157) gave the Missionaries three players among the top five. Elaine Whaley (85-76 – 161) finished 8th.
Megan McGrew (81-78 – 160) was sixth and Abby Mann (79-81 – 160) was seventh for George Fox.
Whitworth had its best round of the season to secure third place in the tournament and third place in the final league standings.
In addition to Guthrie's outstanding round, Nicole Lomax (80-85 – 165) finished 11th and Elizabeth Martin (84-84 – 168) was tied for 14th place. Darby Moberg (91-86 – 177) took 23rd place and Katie O'Neill (98-89 – 187) finished in 28th place. Guthrie earned First Team All-NWC honors while Lomax made the Second Team.
The 2012 Final Women's Golf Standings:
1. (tie) George Fox and Whitman (30 points)
3. Whitworth (22)
4. Willamette (20)
5. Linfield (18)
6. (tie) Pacific Lutheran and Pacific (Ore.) (10)
8. Puget Sound (4)