Hinton Wins Individual Title at GFU Invite, as Bearcats Claim Team Championship

Sam Hinton (Jr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS)
Sam Hinton (Jr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

GEARHART, Ore. -- Sam Hinton (Jr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) of Willamette carded a 1-under-par in the second round of the George Fox University Invitational on his way to the individual championshp with an overall score 144, as the tournament ended at Gearhart Golf Course on Sunday, Oct. 8. Hinton, who shot a 73 in the first round, claimed medalist honors for the second week in a row. He won the Whitworth Invitational with a score of 141 (71-70) on Oct. 1-2 at the Kalispel Golf and Country Club.

Featured in Hinton's second round at Gearhart Golf Course on Sunday was an eagle on the par-4 third hole. His drive left him between three and four feet from the hole. Hinton made the putt for a key moment in his successful round.

Hinton's winning performance at the GFU Invitational, along with the efforts of three other Willamette golfers among the top eight finishers, helped the Bearcats win the team championship on Sunday with a 36-hole score of 592. The Bearcats shot 298 on Saturday and added a score of 294 on Sunday.

Willamette earned the victory by nine strokes. Linfield College placed second at 601 (304-297). George Fox, which began the day in second place, two strokes in front of Linfield, slipped a bit into third place at 605 (302-303). Whitman College took fourth place at 624 (314-310, Pacific University placed fifth at 636 (323-313), George Fox's "B" team was sixth at 641 (313-328), and Lewis & Clark College was seventh at 656 (329-327).

Hinton was followed by teammate Trent Jones (Jr., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS) and Alex Plusquellec of George Fox in a tie for second place at 146. Jones shot 71-75. His 1-under-par 71 in the first round tied Hinton and Lucas Balala of Linfield for low round of the tournament. Plusquellec recorded consecutive rounds of 73.

Balala grabbed fourth place at 148. He carded a 77 in the first round before shooting 71 in the second round. Mason Koch from GFU and Walter Sherry of Linfield tied for fifth place at 149, with Koch shooting 72 and 77, while Walter earned scores of 77 and 72.

Willamette golfers Kenneth Sheldon (Jr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) and Mason Phalen (Fr., Kenmore, WA/Inglemoor HS) tied for seventh place, as both finished at 151. Phalaen registered a 78 in the first round and a 73 in the second round. Sheldon carded a 76 on Saturday,before shooting a 75 on Sunday.

Luke Olson of Pacific (78-75) and Bodhi Parkin of Linfield (72-81) were deadlocked in ninth place at 153. Tobias Zabel of Whitman placed 11th at 155 (82-73).

Also competing for Willamette over the weekend were Ben Graham (Fr., Renton, WA/Liberty HS), Spencer Hong (Sr., Bellevue, WA/Singapore American School), and Dylan King (So., Cottonwood, CA/West Valley HS). Graham shot 79-77--156 to join a five-way tie for 17th place. Hong achieved scores of 79 and 84 for a total of 163. King improved from a 92 in the first round to shoot an 83 in the second round to end the tournament at 175.

The Bearcats will complete their fall season at the Northwest Conference Fall Classic on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15 at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks, Oregon. Pacific will be hosting the tournament.