By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Ben Graham (Fr., Renton, WA/Liberty HS) of Willamette University has been selected as the Northwest Conference Men's Golf Student-Athlete of the Week for his performance at the Willamette Spring Thaw on April 14-15 at the Pronghorn Resort Golf Course in Bend, Oregon. Graham took first place after winning a four-way playoff on the second hole.
Graham and three other golfers registered scores of 149 for the 36-hole tournament. Graham and Mason Koch of George Fox each shot an even-par 4 on the first playoff hole which was the 10th hole. The other two playoff competitors shot a one-over-par 5. Graham and Koch advanced to the second playoff whole which was the 11th hole. On the 11th, Graham carded an even-par 4 to win the title, while Koch was already three-over when Graham achieved par. It was Graham's first individual collegiate win.
The 149 by Graham included a 73 in the first round and a 76 in the second round. His 73 tied for the third lowest round of the weekend. Teammate Kenneth Sheldon (Jr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) also participated in the playoff after shooting 149 (70-79). Sheldon recorded a score of 5 on the first playoff hole.
Graham and Sheldon helped Willamette tie for fourth place in the team standings at the Willamette Spring Thaw. The Bearcats and George Fox each shot 634. Also competing for Willamette were Spencer Hong (Sr., Bellevue, WA/Singapore American School) and Trent Jones (Jr., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS).
Willamette will compete at the Northwest Conference Tournament this weekend on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 at Oakbrook Golf Club in Lakewood, Washington. The NWC Tournament counts for one-half of the overall NWC Championship. The NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic, both already completed, each count for one-fourth of the title. The Bearcats won the NWC Fall Classic and placed fifth at the NWC Spring Classic.