BREMERTON, Wash. -- Two Lewis & Clark Pioneers are in the top 15 after the opening round of the Northwest Conference Spring Classic on Saturday at Gold Mountain Golf Club.
"I struggled early with some tough holes but it was on the fifth when I made two good swings and gave myself an easy look for a change that I was able to right the ship a bit," said Groshong, a senior who is playing in his final NWC Spring Classic. "I went on a par streak after that and helped close out the round on a good note."
The event is the second of three that determine the NWC champion. Entering this weekend's tournament, the Pioneers are fourth and trailing Pacific Lutheran, Willamette and George Fox.
Lewis & Clark is in sixth place as a team, trailing third-place Linfield by 12 strokes. Puget Sound and George Fox are in fourth and fifth, respectively. Willamette's Trent Jones leads the field by five strokes with a 4-under-par 67.
Bove, who like Wang and Horton is playing in the event for the first time, said he was slow to start on the front nine.
"I couldn't get any momentum on the front, but was able to chip in for birdie on 11 and that helped me start a rally on the back nine," said Bove, whose 77 is his best round this spring in stroke play.
"Tomorrow, all we need to do is trust our lines on the putts and be aggressive. Some greens weren't perfectly true. We started to be more protective and that hurt our chances of making putts."
"We need to get on the putting green beforehand and see some putts drop and we'll be cruising," said Groshong. "A lot of us struck the ball really well, but weren't able to score because of some tough breaks on the green, so a little confidence tomorrow will go a long way."
Sunday's final round will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Groshong will tee off on No. 16 with Bove one hole back.