Western Washington upsets No. 1-seed Florida Southern on Day 1 of match play
HERSHEY, Penn. -- Western Washington used a tiebreaker to upset No. 1-seed Florida Southern in a quarterfinal round of match play and advance to the semifinals on Thursday at the NCAA Division II Men's Golf National Championships taking place at the Hershey Country Club East Course.
The No. 8-seeded Vikings upended No.1 Florida Southern, with each team winning two of the five individual matches and tying the other. WWU won the quarterfinal via a total-stroke tiebreaker, which the Vikings claimed by six shots 379-373. Typically, medal matches are decided by holes won.
The key match in winning the tiebreaker came from WWU's Jake Webb, who defeated FSU's Tim Crouch by eight shots. On Wednesday, Crouch had defeated Webb and South Carolina Aiken's Matt Atkins in a two-hole playoff to claim national medalist honors.
Webb, who shot a career-best 6-under par 65 on Wednesday, tied for second place in medalist play, the best-ever Division II national finish by a Viking. He moved up 14 places in the final round to force the playoff.
WWU advanced to the national semifinals to face No. 4 Lynn, which defeated No. 5 USC Aiken (3-2-0).
In Thursday's other two quarterfinal matches, No. 2 Barry was victorious against No. 7 Missouri-St. Louis (4-1-0) and No. 3 Nova Southeastern edged No. 6 Cal State Monterey Bay (3-2-0).
The championship round is scheduled for Friday.
Florida Southern won the medal portion of the tournament to determine the top eight. On Wednesday, the Moccasins shot a final-round 280, the best of the tournament, to take top honors with a 54-hole total of 867.
WWU moved up five places to tie for seventh at 898 (294). The Vikings were tied for fourth after Monday's opening round and dropped into a tie for 12th in the 20-team field following play Tuesday.
Nova Southeastern entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in the final Golf Coaches Athletic Association Top 25 Poll, with Barry ranked No. 2 and WWU No. 6.
The Vikings are already assured of their highest finish at the DII nationals. They tied for sixth in 2000.