By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University men's golfers Trent Jones (Jr., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS) and Kenneth Sheldon (Jr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) have been selected as Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars for the 2017-18 season as chosen by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). A record total of 513 athletes from all three NCAA divisions and the NAIA qualified for the award.
The Bearcats compete in Division III and the Northwest Conference. In NCAA Division III, 99 golfers received All-America Scholar status. Jones and Sheldon were the only athletes from the NWC to earn the award this season.
"I am incredibly proud of Trent and Kenneth for being named All-America Scholars," Willamette Head Golf Coach Patrick Daugherty said. "They continue a great tradition of academic excellence for our university as well as for our golf program. Once again we have the only two players in our conference that were honored."
In order to be chosen as an All-America Scholar in Division III, each golfer needed to achieve at least a 3.2 minimum cumulative grade-point average (4.0 scale), be of high moral character and be in good academic standing. In addition, he had to be a junior or a senior academically who played in at least 50% of his team's competitive rounds while earning a stroke average under 79.0 for the season.
Willamette finished the year in third place in the overall Northwest Conference men's golf standings, as the Bearcats achieved a top three finish for the fifth consecutive season. Willamette won the NWC Fall Classic, placed fifth at the NWC Spring Classic, and took third place at the NWC Tournament. The NWC Tournament was worth one-half of the title, while the Fall Classic and the Spring Classic each were worth one-fourth.
During the year, Willamette won five tournaments. The Bearcats earned first place at the Collegiate Open (hosted by Pacific Lutheran University), the Whitworth Invitational, the George Fox Invitational, the NWC Fall Classic and the Willamette Valley Cup. Willamette attained team scores below 290 six times, including a season-low of 280 in the second round of the NWC Fall Classic.
Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar Award
Trent Jones (Jr.) was named Second Team All-NWC in 2017-18 and earned First Team All-NWC honors in 2016-17. His stroke average this past season was 77.87. He won the individual title at the NWC Fall Classic and placed in the top five at a total of five tournaments. Jones helped Willamette place second in the overall NWC team standings in 2015-16 and 2016-17, followed by a third place team finish in 2017-18. This year, his low round was a 66 in the first round of the NWC Fall Classic.
Jones achieved stroke averages of 73.95 in 2015-16 and 74.00 in 2016-17. He owns a career stroke average of 75.31. His career low round was a 65 in the first round of the Whitworth Men's Spring Invitational in March of 2017. During three seasons at Willamette, he has won six tournaments and has placed in the top five a total of 19 times. Jones is majoring in Physics.
Kenneth Sheldon (Jr.) completed the 2017-18 season with a 77.02 stroke average. He placed second at the Willamette Spring Thaw, took fourth at PLU's Collegiate Open and was sixth at the NWC Tournament. He was chosen Second Team All-NWC. His best round of the year was a 69 on the first day of the Collegiate Open.
The top round of Sheldon's career so far was a school record-tying 64 in the second round of the Whitworth Men's Spring Invitational on March 12, 2017. His 8-under-par finish in that round set a school record for 18 holes. Sheldon registered a stroke average of 74.71 in 2016-17 and his career stroke average is 76.69. Along with Jones, he has helped WU earn three straight top three finishes in the overall NWC standings.
Sheldon has placed in the top five at seven tournaments and has been in the top 10 a total of 11 times. He is majoring in Economics.
NOTE: The academic year listed for each athlete is for the 2017-18 season.