Western Washington wins GNAC tournament by 24 strokes
COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho -- With Vikings placing 1-2-3 in medalist play, Western Washington won by 24 strokes at the third annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship which concluded Tuesday at the 5,914-yard Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course.
The Vikings, who have won all three GNAC titles, shot 322 for a 36-hole total of 641. They led by eight shots after Monday’s round.
“It was a battle of strong-willed people out there today,” WWU coach Bo Stephan said. “With the cold, rain and wind, scoring went out the window and par was a great score on a lot of these holes.”
Montana State-Billings finished second at 665 (338), followed by Saint Martin’s 674 (342), Simon Fraser 678 (337) and Northwest Nazarene 700 (353).
WWU’s Anna Bourland shot 78 each day, tied for the best rounds of the tourney, to take medalist honors by three strokes at 156. Teammate Brooke Branigan moved up from sixth place to finish second at 159 (79). The Vikings’ Kristen Hansen remained third at 160 (81).
“I was really proud of Anna [Bourland], who has worked so hard this season.” Stephan said. “She played really steady and very smart.”
WWU’s Audrey Orem tied for ninth at 166 (84) and Emily Koryto placed 20th (92) at 182.
MSUB’s Capri Ingram was fourth at 162 (80). Tied for fifth at 163 were two Saint Martin’s players – Jennifer Liedes (84) and Mandy Witmier (85), who shot 78 on Monday.
The victory was the first of the season for WWU, which placed as high as third in eight Invitationals during the regular season.