DeGroff leads men’s golf to Washington Cup victory

by Sasha Siclait

The Whitworth men’s golf team returned to the course for another weekend of competition as they took on both Whitman and Pacific Lutheran University. Whitworth took first place in the Washington Cup in Moses Lake, Wash. Whitworth senior Joey DeGroff was the tournament top scorer.

“Joey[DeGroff] just played out of his mind this weekend,” junior Stephen Plopper said. “When Joey came in with a 69 that was a just really good score for him.”

DeGroff was three under par on Saturday’s tournament, and took the top spot over the second-place finisher from Pacific Lutheran by four strokes.

“I thought we did really well considering our best player [Jesse Salzwedel] was gone and we still won,” freshman Lyle Rudnicki said. “The guys on the team stepped up and Joey[DeGroff] and Plopper did very well.”

Plopper was Whitworth’s second highest finisher player this weekend scoring a 77 and a five over par.

“I think Plopper’s games has continually been getting better and a 77 in that wind is a good score,” DeGroff said.

Although conditions were windy and the difficulty of playing in the wind was a factor expressed among multiple players, Whitworth won the tournament.

“I think we handled the wind pretty well in that we came out ready and we’re going to be ready for this next weekend’s tournament,” DeGroff said.

More than one player commented that conditions played a factor in the team’s performance this weekend.

“For the conditions we played in we did really well,” Plopper said. “We scored a 309 and it wasn’t our best, but it was good for those conditions.”

Overall Whitworth scored a 309 and a 21 over par, with Pacific Lutheran in second with a 314-26 and in last place Whitman scoring a 333-45. Whitworth is ranked nationally and heads to the NWC Championships with a chance to compete in the NCAA National Tournament in May.

“I am extremely excited and nervous, but I think we have a really good shot at making nationals,” Plopper said. We’ve put ourselves in a position where we can do well at nationals, and it goes to show we are a really strong team.”

Whitworth also has the opportunity to place first in conference this season if they place first or second April 20-21 at the Northwest Conference Championship in Woodburn, Ore.

Contact Sasha Siclait at ssiclait16@my.whitworth.edu

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