Western Washington University men’s golf won the Hanny Stanislaus Invitational Tournament for the second year in a row and finished a solid fourth at the West Regional Preview.
The team will head into the playoffs looking to defend their Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship and repeat as conference champions.
It should come as no surprise to followers of Western golf that once again, Jordan Lee is powering the Vikings. The senior from Tacoma has now won back-to-back tournaments; he finished first in both the Stanislaus and Regional Preview, which gives him three tournament wins during his time at Western.
In between the tournaments, Lee explained what’s contributed to his recent hot streak.
“I think this is up there as the best golf I’ve ever played,” Lee said. “I think it’s probably the best mentally because, in the past, I tend to get too hard on myself. But now, I’ve just focused on letting the good golf come and trying not to force it.”
The fifth-year senior's efforts in his final year at Western have helped propel the Vikings into a No. 3 ranking in the West and No. 19 in the nation.
“He’s a leader,” sophomore teammate Seth King said. “I’ve never seen someone like him who can keep their cool under pressure like that. It’s cool to see a guy who’s as good as he is be that kind of a leader and maintain a sense of humbleness as well as he does.”
King was a key contributor to the team's recent success as well. He finished fourth at the WWU Invitational earlier in the season and finished 15th and 11th at the team's two most recent tournaments.
“I think we did a really good job preparing for that tournament,” King said. “I think a big factor was we qualified at venues that were similar to that course with small greens and very tight fairways. Most importantly though, I think just having the confidence and having a fire we wanted to prove that we deserve to be where we are now.”
Beyond King and Lee, Brown delivered a breakout performance and finished third in his best tournament of the season. Prior to the tournament, he had yet to secure a top-30 finish.
“I was really excited to play at Turlock,” Brown said. “I really like that course because I think it suits my game, and I was just really excited to get down there and play some golf.”
The Vikings will make their next trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on April 24, seeking to secure their second GNAC championship in a row. The men’s team has won 10 GNAC championships, and they will look to continue their winning ways.
Beyond that, they will look to secure a spot in the Super Regional Tournament in May and attempt to win a national championship.
Joe Kramer (he/him) is a sports reporter for The Front. He is an aspiring sportswriter majoring in journalism. Outside of journalism, he enjoys baseball and spending time with his family, especially the dogs.