By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University student-athlete Austin Davis (Fr., Culver City, CA/Culver City HS) has been named Northwest Conference Men's Golf Freshman of the Year, and Head Coach Patrick Daugherty has been selected NWC Men's Golf Coach of the Year, in voting by the NWC coaches. Davis and Trent Jones (Sr., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS) where chosen First Team All-NWC, while Sam Hinton (Sr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) and Andrew Kibbee (Fr., Kenmore, WA/Bothell HS) received Second Team All-NWC honors. Kenneth Sheldon (Sr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) was named to the NWC All-Sportsmanship Team.
A total of 12 student-athletes were named to the 2019 All-Northwest Conference Men's Golf Team. Six golfers qualified for the First Team and six golfers qualified for the Second Team. Derrick Phelps of Whitworth University was chosen NWC Men's Golf Player of the Year.
The Bearcats recently won the overall 2018-19 NWC Championship after taking first place at the NWC Tournament by nine strokes with a 36-hole score of 598. The NWC Championship was based on three tournaments during the season, concluding with the NWC Tournament worth one-half of the title. Earlier, Willamette placed second at the NWC Fall Classic and third at the NWC Spring Classic. Including non-conference action, the Bearcats won five of nine tournaments, and placed in the top three at eight tournaments. WU was fourth at the prestigious West Cup, which included nationally ranked teams.
By winning the NWC Championship, Willamette earned the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships, set for May 14-17 at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Thirty-two of the 42 team berths will go to conference champions. In addition, six individual golfers will be selected to complete the tournament field. With an automatic bid, all five golfers on Willamette's team will compete at the NCAA Championships.
First Team All-Northwest Conference
Trent Jones (Sr.) was chosen for First Team All-NWC for the second time. He also was named First Team All-NWC in 2016-17. He was chosen Second Team All-NWC in 2017-18. This year, he placed fifth at the NWC Tournament after tying for ninth at the NWC Fall Classic and tying for fourth at the NWC Spring Classic. At the NWC Tournament, he shot 150 (77-73).
He won two individual tournament titles this season. In the fall, he took first place at the George Fox Invitational at 142 (71-71). He won the Willamette Spring Thaw on April 19-20 with a score of 138 (68-70) to earn NWC Men's Golf Student-Athlete of the Week. He leads the Bearcats with a 74.00 unadjusted stroke average this season, and has placed in the top five at five of nine events. He has placed in the top 10 seven times.
In his Willamette career, Jones has won eight individual tournament championships. His career low round is a 65 in the first round of the 2017 Whitworth Spring Invitational. He has earned a total of nine rounds in the 60s, including at least one round each season. His owns a career unadjusted stroke average of 75.0.
"We are super happy for Trent and his First team All-Conference selection," Willamette Head Coach Patrick Daugherty. "This is Trent's third All-Conference honor, and with his eight college victories, he has definitely solidified his place among Willamette golf's all-time best. We couldn't be more proud to have him representing Bearcat golf."
Austin Davis (Fr.) was selected NWC Men's Golf Freshman of the Year and First Team All-NWC after placing in the top five at all three NWC events. He tied for fourth at the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic before tying for third at the NWC Tournament with a score of 149 (78-71).
He placed second twice this year. He was the runner-up at the Willamette Valley Cup with a score of 142 (72-70) and took second at the Willamette Spring Thaw at 139 (70-69). His 69 in the second round of the Willamette Spring Thaw was his low round of the season.
Austin finished in the top 10 at seven of nine tournaments, including six times in the top five. He has achieved a solid 74.21 unadjusted stroke average.
"What a great year Austin has had," Daugherty commented. "He really settled in nicely and found a comfortable groove. We really were just blown away by his continued development throughout the year and his First Team accolade represents all of his hard work. As the Freshman of the Year honor goes, he earned that award every step of the way."
Second Team All-Northwest Conference
Sam Hinton (Sr.) received Second Team All-NWC honors this year after earning First Team All-NWC recognition last year. He has golfed his way to a 74.63 unadjusted stroke average for the season with five top 10 finishes and four results in the top five. He tied for third place at the NWC Tournament with a score of 149 after shooting an 80 in the first round and carding a 69 in the second round. He won the Willamette Valley Cup on March 25-26 with a score of 138, including a 70 in the first round and career-low of 68 in the second round.
In 2017-18, Hinton won the NWC Tournament with a score of 143 (69-74). He claimed the title by sinking a 25-foot putt on the second playoff hole. His victory helped WU win the team title at the 2018 NWC Tournament, and his third place finish this year helped the Bearcats repeat as NWC Tournament champions.
During his career, Hinton has won six tournaments and has completed six rounds in the 60s. He has attained a 75.37 career unadjusted stoke average, including 74.30 over the past two seasons.
"This is Sam's second All-Conference honor. Sam has been super solid for us all year," Daugherty said. "Whenever he has a tough day he seems to find another gear and a way to make that up the next round. We are extremely proud of Sam and his accomplishments."
Andrew Kibbee (Fr.) was chosen Second Team All-NWC following a strong freshman season. He tied for fourth at the NWC Fall Classic and tied for 12th at the NWC Tournament. At the Fall Classic, he shot 149 (76-73). He owns a solid 75.79 unadjusted stroke average.
Kibbee grabbed his first collegiate win at the Pacific Spring Invitational with a 36-hole score of 144, including a career-low 69 in the first round and a 75 in the second round. His 69 also was the low round of the tournament. Kibbee was named NWC Men's Golf Student-Athlete of the Week following the win. He placed in the top 10 at five of nine tournaments.
"Andrew has had a great year as far as development goes," Daughtery noted. "He came into the program with a solid base and very good knowledge of the game, and has continued to grow every week. He picked up his first college win this year, had two under-par rounds, and three good conference events. This is a terrific start to Andrew's college career."
NWC All-Sportsmanship Team
Kenneth Sheldon (Sr.) was chosen as Willamette's student-athlete on the NWC All-Sportsmanship Team in men's golf. He was named Second Team All-NWC in 2016-17 and 2017-18. He has completed 19 rounds this season with a stroke average of 74.79. His career-best stroke average was 74.71 in 2016-17.
During his Willamette career, Sheldon has completed 75 1/2 rounds of competitive golf (one round was topped after nine holes). His career low round was a 64 in the second round of the Whitworth Men's Spring Invitational in 2017.
"We are very honored and privileged to give Kenneth the All-Sportsmanship Award this year," Daugherty said. "Kenneth is the consummate team guy, and conducts himself with elite professionalism. We lean on Kenneth to keep us focused and headed in the right direction. He always has great insight and advice to his teammates and coaches. He respects the game, the course, and his opponents."
NWC Men's Golf Coach of the Year
Head Coach Patrick Daugherty was voted NWC Men's Golf Coach of the Year. He led the Bearcats to the NWC Tournament title and the overall NWC Championship. The Bearcats have earned the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships. The Bearcats have won five of nine tournaments in 2018-19 and have placed in the top three at eight events. WU was fourth at the prestigious West Cup, featuring 16 teams, including several nationally ranked teams.
In Daugherty's six seasons as the head coach at Willamette, the Bearcats have won 29 tournaments, including 20 tournaments over the past four seasons. All five Bearcats on this year's team have an unadjusted stroke average below 76.00 and four are below 75.00. Willamette as earned a 295.00 team stroke average this season. Twenty of 95 individual rounds have been at par or below-par. Prior to becoming WU's head coach, Daugherty was the Bearcats' assistant coach for three seasons.