WALLA WALLA - Pacific Lutheran might be the leader after Saturday's opening round of the men's Northwest Conference Spring Classic, but just five strokes separate the top four teams headed to Sunday's final round at the Wildhorse Golf Course in Mission, Ore.
Pacific Lutheran topped the field Saturday by carding a team score (top four individuals) of 299 on a course dampened by rain and wind.
Whitman, the tournament host, is a stroke back in second place while Whitworth sits in third with a 303 total. Puget Sound is fourth at 304.
Leaders of the second group, and still in contention, are Linfield at 310 and Willamette at 313. Rounding out the first-round scores are George Fox 316, Pacific 333, and Lewis & Clark 365.
Individual medalist honors also remain very much in doubt. Whitworth's Stephen Plopper shot a 3-under 69 for the day's low score, but Whitman's Scott Martin (70) and Whitworth's Jesse Salzwedel (71) are close behind after breaking par as well.
Next in line are Pacific Lutheran's Dustin Hegge (72) and Linfield's Alex Fitch (73) followed by Whitman's Geoff Burks and Pacific Lutheran's Daron Casey, both of whom shot 75.
Nick Kelley (Puget Sound) and Mike Ulstad (George Fox) are tied for eighth at 75.
Results from the Spring Classic count for 25 percent of the season-long scoring used to determine the final NWC standings and crown a conference champion.
Sunday's second and final round is set to get started with the first tee times at 9:30 a.m.