MISSION, Ore. - Staying in contention for a conference title, the Whitman College men's golf team finished a strong second as the Northwest Conference Spring Classic finished its two-day run on Sunday at Wildhorse Golf Course.
Led by freshman Scott Martin, who shot a 4-over par 76 in the wind-blown final round, Whitman carded a 315 team score to finish in second with a 615 tournament total.
Linfield shot a team score of 299 on Sunday to finish first in the nine-school field with a 36-hole total of 609, edging Whitman by six strokes.
Whitworth finished in third place with a 616 total, after shooting 313 on Sunday.
The Spring Classic results, combined with results from last October's Fall Classic, count for 50 percent of the season-long scoring used to determine the final NWC standings and crown a conference champion.
Linfield, which finished second at the Fall Classic, sits in first place with 15 points. Whitman, which was third at the Fall Classic, added seven points on Sunday to take over second place with 13 points. Puget Sound and Whitworth are next in line with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The NWC Championship tournament, slated for April 21-22 at Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, accounts for the final 50 percent of the season-long scoring.
A Whitman victory in that final regular tournament would give the Missionaries the conference title.
"This puts us in the great position to win the title," Whitman coach Peter McClure said. "It's the best position we've had in my time as coach."
Martin, who shot a 2-under par 70 on Saturday, finished second in the final individual scoring with a 146.
Whitworth's Jesse Salzwedel won medalist honors with a 143 total.
While Martin is just a freshman, he continues to "show that he's a strong and disciplined player," McClure said.
Martin was even par through seven holes on Sunday, but bogeyed No. 8 and No. 9.
"He birdied No. 17 on the back nine to finish with a solid 76," McClure said.
Geoff Burks covered the front nine on Sunday in even par, but struggled a bit on the back, finishing with a 78 that left him in seventh place at 150.
Peter Clark had Whitman's third-best score Sunday, shooting 1-over on the back nine to finish with an 80.
"Peter should get our comeback award," McClure said. "After a rough day Saturday and a 43 today on the front side, he got his game turned around on the last nine holes."
Andrew Welch shot 81 on Sunday to complete Whitman's top-four team score.
Jonathan Standen, after posting a 76 on Saturday, had trouble on Sunday's front nine, finishing with an 82.
"Jonathan said he hit the ball well enough today but just couldn't get the ball into the hole," McClure said.