SMU men 2nd in GNAC golf after forcing playoff

The OlympianApril 23, 2014 

Led by Ryan Baumgart and Austin Spicer, the Saint Martin’s men’s golf team rallied to force a sudden-death playoff before settling for second place Tuesday at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

The Saints overcame a four-stroke deficit over the final nine holes to force a playoff with Northwest Nazarene before NNU won the team title on the first playoff hole. Connor Magnuson’s eagle on the par-5 hole gave the Crusaders championship.

SMU entered the final round in third place, two shots behind NNU, but Baumgart’s 74 helped the Saints pull into a tie at 892 strokes after 54 holes. NNU had been in second, four shots behind six-time defending champion Western Washington, which finished fourth.

Simon Fraser’s Kevin Vigna won the individual title at 213. Baumgart (73-73-74) tied for second at 220 with Western Washington’s Kyle Schrader (71-69-80), a Tumwater High School graduate who had led after each of the first two rounds.

Spicer was another shot back at 221, in a four-way tie for fourth with Magnuson and two others.

In the women’s tournament, Saint Martin’s Jennifer Liedes and Mandy Wittmier tied for fifth with a 36-hole total of 163, leading the Saints to a third-place finish.

Western Washington, led by Anna Bourland’s individual title (156), won the team championship for the third consecutive year.

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