Willamette Wins Team Title; Hinton Finishes 2nd, Graham and Jones Tie for 4th

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

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Willamette University secured the team championship at the Willamette Valley Cup by holding off a run from George Fox University during the final round on Sunday, March 18 at Trysting Tree Golf Club. The Bearcats, who led by 12 strokes after the first round, won the team title by two strokes. Three Willamette golfers finished high on the leaderboard, with Sam Hinton taking second place, while Ben Graham (Fr., Renton, WALiberty HS) and Trent Jones (Jr., Kenmore, WAShorecrest HS) tied for fourth.

The Bearcats shot 289 in the first round on Saturday and carded a team score of 308 in the second round to finish at 597. George Fox held second place after the first round at 301 and then improved to 298 in the second round to challenge the Bearcats. The Bruins finished second at 599. Willamette's 289 in the first round was the lowest team score for 18 holes.

Linfield College concluded the tournament in third place at 611 (308-303). Pacific University was fourth at 621 (311-310). Lewis & Clark College placed fifth at 671 (342-329).

Mason Koch of George Fox won the individual title with a 36-hole score of 1-over-par 143 (71-72). Hinton earned second place, as he completed the tournament three stokes behind Koch at 146. Hinton carded a 72 in the first round and a 74 in the second round. Isaac Grebisz from Linfield placed third at 148, as he shot a 78 in the first round, followed by a tournament-low 70 in the second round.

Graham and Jones were joined by Luke Olson of Pacific in a three-way tie for fourth place at 149. Graham shot 72-77, while Jones carded 73-76 and Olson registered 74-75. Lucas Balala of Linfield and Alex Plusquellec from GFU tied for seventh with scores of 150. Balala shot 73-77, while Plusquellec shot 74-76.

Ninth place went to Clayton Rajewich from Linfieild, who finished at 152 (79-73). Kenneth Sheldon (Jr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) of Willamette and Max Hanson from Linfield tied for 10th place at 153. Sheldon carded 72-81 and Hanson produced rounds of 77 and 76.

Also competing for the Willamette team was Spencer Hong (Sr., Bellevue, WA/Singapore American School). He completed the 36 holes with a score of 172 (85-87).

The Bearcats will return to action at the West Cup on March 26 and March 27 in La Verne, California. The prestigious tournament will be hosted by University of La Verne at Sierra La Verne Country Club.