Game of the week: men’s golf competes in first spring tournament

Libby Watkins

The Whitman men’s golf team has high hopes as they look toward the Pacific Invitational tournament this weekend at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course in North Plains, Ore.

“I am expecting our team to do very well,” said sophomore Brian Barton. “Each player has been working hard to improve his own game and I think our team score will reflect this hard work when we play on Saturday.”

The team returns six players from the fall, junior Grant Brandal, sophomores Noah Jolley and Barton and first-years John Abercrombie, David DeVine and Ben Elstrott. This spring they have been joined by junior transfer and basketball player Steve Campbell, junior Paul DeBarros, who was abroad during fall semester, and first-year Seb Elstrott, who decided to join his brother on the team.

“Our team is deeper, more talented and has the best attitude of any team we’ve had in the past few years,” said head coach Peter McClure. “These guys want to play at a high level and all of them want to get better.”

McClure has high hopes for the upcoming tournament as well, which will be attended by all the teams in the Northwest Conference. He believes Whitman can take first and second place individually between Barton and Campbell.

Barton won the Northwest Conference Fall Classic in October, and took second in a sudden death tiebreaker at the Northwest Conference Northern Colleges Fall Tournament. McClure added that Campbell is showing great potential, and sees him doing well this weekend.

Barton agreed, saying, “He is a great addition to the team, and will help our team score tremendously.”

McClure believes that the other team members will do well too, citing their potential and improvement.

“I am very confident that the other members of our team will improve their scoring average in all the tournaments we will play this spring,” said McClure.

The team has been practicing for the past three weeks and has had a full practice schedule, only missing one day due to the weather.

“Every day we play and every stroke we play, we get better,” said McClure.

Barton expressed his enthusiasm for Whitman men’s golf and his vision for the future.

“We have a great coach who gives us lots of encouragement and support,” said Barton. “I think with our young talent in the freshman class as well as a strong returning class, people will start to notice what a great program we have building here.”