By Alli Kieckbush, student writer
WALLA WALLA, Wash.– The Whitworth men's golf team has its work cut out for it after blustery wind conditions led to a sixth place (325) showing on the first day of the Northwest Conference Tournament on Saturday at Wine Valley Golf Course.
The Pirates need a second-place finish to clinch the 2018-19 NWC title, or to finish ahead of Willamette and PLU. However, Willamette is in first place and PLU is in fourth after the opening round.
Scores ballooned significantly in the windy, gusty weather. The first round team scores are: Willamette 309, Linfield 318, George Fox 319, Pacific Lutheran 322, Puget Sound 323, Whitworth 325, Pacific University 350, Lewis & Clark 351, and Whitman 352.
The cushion the Pirates built with first place finishes at the NWC Fall Classic and NWC Spring Classic is in jeopardy of disappearing unless the Bucs can rally on Sunday.
Derrick Phelps shot 77 (+5) to lead Whitworth on Saturday. He is in a four-way tie for third place. Linfield's Matthew McClure (74) was the first round leader.
The tournament will resume on Sunday at 9:30 am with a shotgun start.