By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Three Willamette University golfers -- Ben Graham (Fr., Renton, WA/Liberty HS), Sam Hinton (Jr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) and Kenneth Sheldon (Jr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) -- were tied for second place after 18 holes at the Willamette Valley Cup on Saturday, March 17 at Trysting Tree Golf Club. Graham, Hinton and Sheldon, plus Trent Jones (Jr., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS), who was tied for fifth, combined to put the Bearcats into the team lead with a score of 289 entering the final 18 holes on Sunday, March 18.
Mason Koch from George Fox University topped the individual leaderboard with an even-par 71 over the 6,675-yard course. Graham, Hinton and Sheldon were each one stoke out of the lead after carding a 72. Jones and Lucas Balala of Linfield College were tied for fifth place at 73. Luke Olson from Pacific University and Alex Plusquellec from GFU were tied for seventh with scores of 74. Jacob Bell from Lewis & Clark College was ninth after shooting a 75, while Max Hanson of Linfield was 10th with a 77.
"We are definitely moving in the right direction," Willamette Head Coach Patrick Daugherty said. "To say we haven't been playing our best is an understatement, so to get off to the start we did today was very encouraging. the golf course is pretty straight forward, but the temperatures and cold-cutting wind made the conditions difficult to score."
Willamette's team score of 5-over-par 289 gave the Bearcats a 12-stroke advantage. George Fox was second with a score of 301, while Linfield was third at 308. Pacific followed in fourth place at 311, with Lewis & Clark in fifth place at 342.
Completing Willamette's five-man team was Spencer Hong (Sr., Bellevue, WA/Singapore American School). Hong shot an 83 for the Bearcats.