Bearcats Post Season-Low Team Total En Route to Winning Whitworth Invitational

Kenneth Sheldon (So., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS)
Kenneth Sheldon (So., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS)

Written by Mark Colachico, Athletics Communications Writer

PENDLETON, Ore. - Willamette University's men's golf team posted a school record 15-under-par 273 in the final round of the Whitworth Invitational on Sunday, March 12 en route to capturing the team title by 19 strokes at Wildhorse Golf Course.

Trent Jones (So., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS) took home medalist honors after earning a two-round total of 11-under-par 133 (65-68). He held off fellow Bearcat Kenneth Sheldon (So., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) by a mere two strokes.

Sheldon carded career-low 8-under 64 in the second round to go along with an opening round score of 1-under 7. He ended the tournament with a total score of 9-under 135. He set a Willamette record by finishing Sunday's round at 8-under and tied a school record with his 64. Ryan Kukula '15 shot a 6-under 64 at the Pacific Fall Opener at the Quail Valley Golf Course in 2014.

Sheldon finish six strokes ahead of Linfield College's Lucas Balala. Balala completed the tournament in third place at 141 (70-71).

Max Hinson, also from Linfield, took fourth place with a score of 142 (74-68).  Elijah Pittser of Whitworth University was fifth at 144 (74-70) and Colin Rajczak from the University of Puget Sound was sixth at 145 (77-68).

All four Bearcats that figured into the scoring quartet on Sunday posted scores under par, as Sam Hinton (So., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) and Clark Wilson (Sr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) registered scores of 2-under 70 and 1-under 71, respectively. Hinton (76-70) and Wilson (75-71) finished in a four-way tie for seventh place individually with scores of 146.

Peter Mitzel (Sr., Red Bluff, CA/Red Bluff HS) rounded out the Bearcats' official team entry with a second round score of 2-over 74, as the fourth-year player finished in a three-way tie for 12th with a two-round score of 150 (76-74).

Playing as individuals for Willamette were Collin Fuller (Sr., Grants Pass, OR/Grants Pass HS), Spencer Hong (Jr., Bellevue, WA/Singapore American School), and Dylan King (So., Cottonwood, CA/West Valley HS), who all posted scores in the top 20.

Fuller led the Bearcat individuals by finishing 11th overall with a two-round total of 149 (78-71). Hong (78-73--151) and King (85-80--165) closed out Willamette's list of competitors.

In the overall team totals, Willamette (287-273--560) outlasted Linfield (296-283--579) by 19 strokes, while tournament-host Whitworth (298-292--590) placed third. Puget Sound (325-313--638) took fourth and Whitman College was fifth (327-323--650).,

This is the third victory of the 2016-17 season for Willamette, as the Bearcats captured team titles at the Pacific Invitational in September and the weather-shortened Willamette Cup last month.

Next up for Willamette is the West Cup, hosted by the University of La Verne (Calif.) on March 27 and March 28, at Sierra La Verne Country Club in Southern California.