he men’s and women’s golf teams wrapped up their seasons at the Northwest Conference Championships in Oregon the weekend of April 28.
The men tied for second at the NWC championships, moving their conference standing to fourth. The women finished the season in ninth.
It was a good weekend for junior Ricky Howard (Madison, Wisc.). He finished the tournament tied for third with a score of 148 (+4).
His performance at the NWC championships, along with play at other tournaments during the season, earned him a Second-Team All Conference honor.
One other Logger earned a Second-Team All Conference Honor. Junior Adam Bean (Portland, Ore.) earned his spot after placing in the top ten at the Championships and the Fall Classic last semester.
This tournament marked the end of five Logger’s time at Puget Sound. Four men will graduate and the women will lose one senior.
Melissa Merrigan (Happy Valley, Ore.) will leave Puget Sound after four years with the women’s golf team. She finished the Northwest Conference Championships in 31st with a score of 190 (+44).
“I’ve loved my team, I’ve had wonderful teammates all four years,” Merrigan said. “Some that graduated already and some that have many years to go, but they’ve always been my most treasured part of my golf experience.”
As Merrigan reflected on one of the potential hazards that can come with playing golf in the Pacific Northwest, she remembered a tournament her sophomore year that was cut short due to rain and hail.
“It was rainy and cold and windy and even started hailing and the greens were turning from green to white but I shot my lowest score,” Merrigan recalled. “I shot a 44 but then they canceled [the rest of the tournament] because it was dubbed unplayable, but it was the best nine I ever played.”
The graduating seniors from the men’s team are Matt Kitto (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Derek Wilson (Bellevue, Wash.), Greg Finch (Issaquah, Wash.) and Patrick King (Denver, Colo.).
Kitto placed 16th in the Championships. He shot a 156 (+12), just one shot behind freshman Ben Hayes (Fairlee, Vt.).
Wilson ended his collegiate career in 28th at the NWC Championships. He shot a 162, 18 above par.
Like Merrigan, King encountered a wide variety of weather playing golf in Washington.
“My favorite part of playing golf for UPS has been learning from people and friends that I admire. I have learned a tremendous amount from my coaches the past four years not just about golf, but about conducting myself as a person in general,” King said.
“I have also learned an enormous amount through watching the commitment and discipline of my teammates every single day whether it was pouring rain or 70 degrees and sunny.”
For graduating seniors, this is an end to not just an academic chapter but an athletic one as well, and the end to the opportunity to play a sport they love, that can otherwise be expensive, for free.
Just as these seniors were influenced and shaped by the players that came before them, they too will leave a legacy behind them.
So even though five seniors are graduating, we can be sure that they will leave behind an impact that will shape future Loggers for many years to come, both on and off the greens.