Rhodenbaugh, Bell lead way for Pios in final round of NWC Championship

Rhodenbaugh, Bell lead way for Pios in final round of NWC Championship

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- A pair of juniors led the way for the Lewis & Clark Pioneers during Sunday's final round of the Northwest Conference Championship at Oakbrook Golf Club.

Women

Junior Mady Rhodenbaugh shot the lowest individual score by anyone not on the top-two teams with an 82-79-161. Teammate Jane Almeida finished with a 165.

Rhodenbaugh's 79 matched the third-lowest round by any Pioneers competitor this season at 7-over-par. Lewis & Clark finished fourth overall.

"First day was a little slow," said Rhodenbaugh. "Scores were a little high, but we managed to put up some good ones. Today was sunnier, not as windy and we put up some low scores."

In the two postseason events she competed in - Sunday and the NWC Spring Classic two weeks ago - Rhodenbaugh finished in the top 10. She was studying overseas and missed the NWC Fall Classic or else she might have earned an All-NWC selection.

"Coming back from overseas and not touching a club for six months was rough at the beginning, and then halfway through the season, I got my feel back," said Rhodenbaugh. "Ending up here, I didn't post the scores I wanted to, but I'm able to hold my head high and that's good."

Almeida also didn't compete in the fall and shot her best round of the spring, 83-82-165, since the season opener in March. Annika Clunk posted an 87-86-173 and Tori Eichten shot 90-91-181.

"For the women, everyone played better today and they should be proud of how they did," said Lewis & Clark head coach James Yen. "This was a good end to the season and should catapult us in to what will be a great 2018-19 season."

All of Lewis & Clark's golfers are able to return next season.

"I'm hoping to do a blowout of a season," said Rhodenbaugh. "We have four seniors next season, so hoping for travel, low scores and taking names."

Whitman won the tournament and tied with George Fox for the overall NWC title through three events. A playoff gave Whitman the NCAA nationals automatic qualifier.

Men

Jacob Bell finished Sunday with a 73 to total 75-73-148 for the tournament and placed 11th overall to lead the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in the final event of the year.

Kade McCoy had the next-best finish at 87-84-171.

Bell's finish on Sunday is his best since the NWC Fall Classic where he placed 13th. He narrowly missed an All-NWC selection.

"My goal was to make an all-conference team from the get-go of the season," said Bell. "It was a great season and I'm looking forward to next year already.

"I was struggling with the putter all year, but finally got some puts to roll in on Saturday. Swing has been feeling good all weekend. Was able to put up a pretty good number and be in the top 10 going into the second day."

"Very impressed with how the guys did today," said Yen. "Improvements from everyone. A lot to be proud of for every guy."

David Furman shot 179 and Nick Lombardi posted a 207. All four Pios shot better scores in Sunday's final round.

"Proud of our team fought and battled," said Bell.

Pacific Lutheran won the team title and Sam Hinton of Willamette took the individual title.

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Day 1

The Lewis & Clark Pioneers finished up their first round of the Northwest Conference Championships on Saturday at the Oakbrook Golf Course. The women are currently in fourth place with a total score of 342 and ten strokes behind Whitworth. The men are in ninth place with a total score of 363.

Men

Jacob Bell was the leading golfer for the Pioneers after the first round finishing with a score of 75. Bell is in a three-way tie for 10th place and is six strokes behind the leader, Sam Hinton from Willamette, who hit a 69.

Kade McCoy had the next best score for the Pios with an 87 and is tied for 40th place. David Furman finished his first round with a 92 and is in 42nd place and Nick Lombardi is in 44th place after hitting a 109.

The second round of golf will begin on Sunday.

Women

The women's team had a great overall first round performance with each golfer hitting 90 or below. Mady Rhodenbaugh is in a three-way tie for 11th place with a score of 82. Jane Almeida is one stroke behind hitting an 83 and is also in a three-way tie but for 14th place.

Annika Clunk finished her first round with a score of 87 and is in a five-way tie for20th place. Tori Eichten finished the first round with a score of 90 and is also in a three-way tie for 28th place.