By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Willamette University is in third place, just five strokes out of the lead, after the first round of the Northwest Conference Spring Classic in men's golf at the Olympic Country & Golf Club on Saturday, April 13. Austin Davis (Fr., Culver City, CA/Culver City HS) of Willamette is tied for sixth place, while Sam Hinton (Sr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) and Trent Jones (Sr., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS), also from Willamette, are tied for eighth.
Pacific Lutheran University owned the lead with a score 300. Whitworth University was second at 304 and Willamette was third at 305. The tournament will conclude with the second round on Sunday, April 14, in what should be an interesting battle with the Lutes, Pirates and Bearcats playing head-to-head in three-man groups. A shotgun start will begin the round at 9 a.m. (PDT), with the men's golfers opening on the front nine.
Hinton will tee off in the first group on the first hole, and Davis will begin with the second group on the first hole. Andrew Kibbee (Fr., Kenmore, WA/Bothell HS) of Willamette will start in the first group on the second hole, while Jones will get underway with the second group on the second hole. Bearcat golfer Kenneth Sheldon (Sr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) will begin on the third hole.
Following Pacific Lutheran, Whitworth and Willamette in the team standings were the Bruins of George Fox University in fourth place at 314. Linfield College trailed GFU by just one stroke, as the Wildcats held fifth place at 315. University of Puget Sound was sxith at 321, Lwwis & Clark College was seventh at 331, Whitman College was eighth at 340, and Pacific University was ninth at 344.
The top of the individual standings featured a tie between co-leaders Preston Roth of Whitworth and Austin Darnell from Pacific Lutheran. Roth and Darnell each shot a 2-over-par 72.
Reilly Hegarty of Whitworth, Jared Beals of PLU, and Tom Hoyne of Whitman formed a three-way tie for third place at 74. Davis of Willamette and Mason Koch from GFU were tied for sixth at 75. Hinton and Jones for the Bearcats, along with PLU's Alex Nelson, were tied for eighth with scores of 76. Willamette's efforts also included Kibbee with a 78 and Sheldon with an 81. A totalof 43 golfers completed the first round.
The NWC Spring Classic is one of three tournaments that determines the overall NWC champion. The NWC Fall Classic, held last October, was worth one-fourth of the overall title and the NWC Spring Classic also is worth one-fourth. The NWC Tournament on April 27-28 at Wine Valley Golf Club, in Walla Walla, Washington, will count for one-half of the title.
After the NWC Fall Classic, Whitworth led the NWC standings with 8 points. Willamette followed with 7 points, and Pacific Lutheran had 6 points. George Fox was fourth with 5 points, followed by Linfield with 4 points, Puget Sound with 3 points, Lewis & Clark with 2 points, Pacific with 1 point, and Whitman with 0 points.
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Austin Davis carded a first round score of 75 to end the
day tied for sixth place at the NWC Spring Classic. His
efforts also helped the Bearcats finish the round in third
place in the team standings at 305, just one stroke out
of second place and five strokes out of first.