The Pacific Lutheran University men’s golf team took home a nice piece of hardware this weekend, claiming its first Northwest Conference Championship since 2001 at the Oregon Golf Association Course in Woodburn, Oregon.

Throughout the two-day tournament, the Lutes built up a commanding 10-stroke lead over their fellow conference foes finishing with a combined weekend total of 602, 26 shots over par at the par-72 course.

Among the top performers for the Lutes was junior Tim Livermore, who shot a 76 Saturday and a 79 Sunday.

“It felt good to play up to our potential,” Livermore said. “It’s where we expected to be as a team. I’m really happy.”

Senior Dustin Hegge and sophomore Seth Nickerson also played at the top of their game this weekend, finishing second and third in the overall standings.

Hegge, who took third, golfed an outstanding score of 71 Saturday, while teammate Nickerson — who took second — golfed an overall combined team best with a 74 Saturday and a 73 Sunday.

The Lutes fought through their fair share of the elements as well, with the rain coming down the majority of Sunday.

“It was gusty all day with off and on rain,” Livermore said. “We just wanted to stick to our game plan and knew that if we could do that, the rest would take care of itself.”

PLU men’s head coach Kris Swanson earned Coach of the Year for guiding the Lutes to a conference title.

With the Lutes taking first place in the tournament, they have earned an automatic bid to the national championships.

The national tournament will take place May 13-16 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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