The Western Washington University mens golf team from Bellingham, WA clinched its ninth conference title running away from the field with a 15-stroke victory at the 2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships on the Coeur dAlene Resort Golf Course.
Sophomore Brody Bonfilio was a late entrant into WWUs lineup due to an illness, and made the most of the opportunity winning individual medalist honors finishing the 54-hole tournament at 3-under-par 210 (67-71-72). The Idaho native recorded a birdie on his final hole (No. 9) to become the eighth Viking to win the top individual honor in the 12 years of the event. The GNAC’s reigning Freshman of the Year edged out teammate Jordan Lee and Concordia’s Jake Wiley, who finished tied for second at 2-under
WWU has won nine of the 12 championships in conference history and will receive the GNACs first automatic qualifier bid to the NCAA Division II West/South Central Regional that will be played May 9-11 in St. George, Utah. WWU has now qualified for the NCAA regional championships in all 21 seasons that the program has been affiliated with the NCAA.
The Vikings clinched its third GNAC Championship in the last four years with a final round team score of 1-under-par 283, led by a 5-under-par 66 from freshman Lee. WWU won six consecutive team titles from 2008-2013, and then again in back-to-back seasons in 2016-17.
Bonfilio (Boise, ID/Bishop Kelly) joined a lengthy list of Vikings that have won medalist honors at the GNAC Championships, including Jake Koppenberg (2009), Xavier Dailly (2010), Nick Valeria (2011), Craig Crawford (2012), Jake Webb (2013), Brett Johnson (2016) and current Viking Ethan Casto (2018).
Lee (Tacoma, WA/Bellarmine Prep) recorded eight birdies in the final round en route to scoring a tournament low 5-under-par 66 on the par-71 layout. Lee started the day tied for 10th place in the 30-player field, but vaulted up the leaderboard while tying his career-low collegiate round.
Senior Cody Roth (Bellingham, WA) tied for 7th to record his highest finish while playing in his fourth GNAC Championships. Roth finished at 3-over-par 216 with rounds of 73-70-73 and led the tournament field with a 1-under-par scoring average on Coeur dAlenes five tough par 3s.
Defending tournament champion Ethan Casto (Snohomish, WA) tied for 9th place at 4-over-par 217. Casto opened his final round at 2-under-par through the first nine holes, including a three-hole stretch where he played holes 13-14-15 at 4-under-par with a pair of birdies and an eagle.
Senior Nick Sparling (Dublin, OH/Dublin Coffman) fired a final-round 74 (+3) to finish 16th in the 30-player field.
WWUs team round of 1-under-par 283 marked the 20th round of par or better this season (out of 29 rounds), increasing what is already a program record. The Vikings have won six of the 10 tournaments they have played in this season, 2nd-most in program history, trailing only seven wins in 1999-2000.