CRESWELL, Ore. – The Lewis-Clark State College Men’s and Women’s Golf teams return to the course after a month away when they swing away on Monday for the start of the three-day Cascade Conference Golf Championships, presented by U.S. Bank, at Emerald Valley Golf Club.
The winner of the CCC tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournaments. The regular-season champion will also be determined based on the best head-to-head record in the three conference tournaments, including the conference championships.
The golfers who finish in the top 10 with the lowest stroke average in conference play will be awarded all-conference honors.
On the men’s side, No. 10 UBC holds a four-point advantage over No. 20 LC State. British Columbia won the two conference invitationals this season. LC State fell just four strokes short in last year’s conference tournament to UBC.
Three Warriors are in the mix for all-conference honors. Senior Jorgen Lie Viken, who earned two individual wins in non-conference events this season, has a six-round average of 72.3 to put him in a tie for the third position. He was voted the CCC and NAIA Golfer of the Week for earning both wins in the same week. Viken is just one stroke behind Mackenzie Bickell and Dylan Macdonald of British Columbia for the top spot.
Sophomore Sondre Andersen is two strokes behind his teammate with a 72.7 average. Senior Devon Caruso is ninth with a 73.2 average round.
For the women, No. 1 British Columbia looks to remain the head of the conference. Last year UBC won the conference in dominating fashion before taking the national title. The Thunderbirds finished 45-strokes ahead of second-place Oregon Tech. LC State finished in fourth 75-strokes behind the winners.
The Warriors finished in the top three in both regular-season CCC events this season.
The race for an all-conference honor might come down to LC players battling against each other. The Warriors currently hold the 9-12 positions on the individual leaderboard. The Thunderbirds hold the top five spots.
Junior Kyla Currie leads the way with a 78.3 average, 28-strokes behind leading Grace Bell of British Columbia. Freshman Kylee Hughes is just two strokes behind her teammate with a 78.8 average and sits in the final honor position.
Senior Alexandra Schmidt is averaging 79.0 in conference action but has been on a hot streak as of late. The Saskatchewan native earned a victory at the home tournament and was second at the UPS Invite, both non-conference events. She was voted the CCC and NAIA Golfer of the Week along with Viken.
Junior Deana Caruso sits at 79.3, two strokes behind Hughes. Freshmen Dallis Shockey (81.5) and Reece Garey (83.0) currently sit in the top-16.
Weather canceled the final tune-up for both teams when the Walla Walla Invitational was called off earlier this month.
LC State had three golfers, Viken, Devon Caruso, and Schmidt, take part in the UPS Spring Invitational from March 23-24. The rest of the golfers have not played a competitive collegiate round since hosting the LCSC Warrior Spring Invitational on March 20-21.
The CCC tournament tees off at 8:30 a.m. PT on Monday with 18 holes being played on each day of the competition.
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