By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- For the third consecutive season, the Willamette University men's golf team is in the hunt for the Northwest Conference title as the regular season enters its final weekend with the NWC Tournament. This year, the 36-hole event, which is worth one-half of the overall NWC team championship, will take place at the Tacoma Country & Golf Club in Tacoma, Washington.
Action will get underway with the first round on Saturday, April 22. The second round will be held on Sunday, April 23. Tee time is set for 8 a.m. (PDT) each day. Par is 72.
The NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic -- each worth one-fourth of the NWC championship -- have already been completed with Willamette in second place in the overall standings.
Pacific Lutheran University leads the NWC standings with 16 points (two first place finishes), while Willamette has 14 points (two second place finishes) and George Fox University has 10 points.
The winner of the NWC Tournament will receive 16 points, with points awarded to other teams on a 14-12-10-8, etc. basis.
Pacific Lutheran can claim the overall title by winning the NWC Tournament. Willamette can earn the overall title if the Bearcats win the NWC Tournament and PLU places third or lower in the standings. Willamette will force a playoff to determine the overall champion if the Bearcats win the NWC Tournament and the Lutes finish in second place.
George Fox has an outside chance to grab the overall title, but that requires the Bruins to finish at least two places in front of Willamette and three places in front of Pacific Lutheran.
Competing for the Bearcats this weekend will be five members of the Willamette team. They are Sam Hinton (So., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS), Trent Jones (So., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS), Peter Mitzel (Sr., Red Bluff, CA/Red Bluff HS), Kenneth Sheldon (So., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) and Clark Wilson (Sr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS). The top four scores each team will count toward Willamette's team total.
Jones won the individual title at the NWC Fall Classic on the first playoff hole after earning a two-round score of 146 (73-73). Mitzel tied two golfers for fourth place at 148 (78-70), while Sheldon was involved in a seven-way tie for 13th place at 154 (77-77).
At the NWC Spring Classic, Jones took second place with a 36-hole score of 142 (67-75). Sheldon was one of two golfers to tied for third at 145 (75-70). Hinton finished in a three-way tie for 10th with a score of 151 (78-73).
On Saturday, Jones will tee off with the first group at 8 a.m. (PDT). Mitzel will follow at 8:09 a.m., with Wilson starting at 8:18, Sheldon teeing off at 8:27 and Hinton beginning at 8:36. Sunday's round will have a shotgun start.