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March 2, 2011

PLU Men Open Spring Golf Season on Thursday

THIS WEEK: Pacific Lutheran men at Logger Invitational, Fircrest Golf Club, Thursday, 11 a.m. and Friday, 8 a.m.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG: Golf in the Northwest Conference operates on a split season, and the second part of that season gets underway for the Pacific Lutheran men's team this week when it competes at the Logger Invitational at Fircrest Golf Club. The event, hosted by the University of Puget Sound, gets underway with first-round tee times starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Tee times for Friday start at 8 a.m. PLU players entered in the tournament are frosh Chris Guiducci, junior Scott Zhang, frosh Zack Kitchen, frosh Dustin Hegge, sophomore Auston Hilkin, and junior Daron Casey.

MORE ABOUT THE INVITATIONAL: The tournament features a 36-hole stroke play format, with four players on each team counting toward the team score in a given round. Men's teams scheduled to compete, in addition to PLU and the host school, are Linfield, Oklahoma Christian and North Idaho College. Last year, the PLU men finished third in a four-team field. Linfield had rounds of 298 and 582, just 14 strokes over par, to win the team title. Linfield's Yutaro Sakamoto led his team with impressive rounds of 70 and 68, four under par. Other men's scores showed Puget Sound with 602, PLU with a 632 (322-310) and Willamette 671. Daron Casey led PLU, placing eighth with scores of 80-75 - 155, and he returns for the Lutes this spring.

FALL SEASON: The last time that the PLU team played, it finished sixth at the Northwest Conference Fall Classic held Oct. 23-24, 2010, at Juniper Golf Club in Redmond. The NWC Fall Classic is one of three "major" events that count toward the overall conference championship. The other two events are held in the spring season - NWC Spring Classic, April 2-3, Hawks Prairie, and NWC Championship, april 22-23. Frosh Dustin Hegge placed 11th to lead the Lutes at the Fall Classic, and he was the team's top player throughout a four-tournament fall season. In a total of nine rounds during the fall, Hegge averaged 76 strokes with a low round of 70 and one top-five tournament finish. Of the returning players, junior Scott Zhang was next with 80.1 strokes her round and a low of 72.

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