Willamette Finishes 13th at NCAA Championships, as Davis Ties for 24th

Austin Davis (Fr., Culver City, CA/Culver City HS)
Austin Davis (Fr., Culver City, CA/Culver City HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. -- Austin Davis (Fr., Culver City, CA/Culver City HS) tied for 24th place and Sam Hinton (Sr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) tied for 32nd in the individual standings to lead Willamette University to 13th place at the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships. The tournament ended with the fourth round at the Keene Trace Golf Club on Friday, May 17.

The NCAA Division III Championships began with 42 teams and six individuals for 215 golfers overall. After two rounds, the field was reduced to 18 teams and six individuals, with 96 golfers playing the final two rounds. Each team played once on the Champion Trace course and once on the Keene Run course during the first two rounds. The final two rounds were played at the Champion Trace course. 

Willamette's overall score of 1228 included four consistent rounds of 308-306-306-308. The Bearcats earned their 13th place finish in their first trip to the NCAA Championships.

It was Willamette's best-ever finish at a national championship event in men's golf. Prior to joining NCAA Division III for the 1998-99 athletic year, the Bearcats qualified for the NAIA Men's Golf Championships eight times. Willamette placed 14th at the NAIA Championships in 1975 and 1976.

On Friday, Austin shot a 73 for the second consecutive day for a 72-hole score of 299. He shot a 79 in the first round and then improved to 75 in the second round, before earning back-to-back scores of 1-over par to complete the championships. He tied with two other golfers for 24th place.

Hinton finished in a six-way tie for 32nd place after earning an overall score of 302. Hinton earned Willamette's low round of the tournament with a 71 in the second round. He shot a 77 in the first, third and fourth rounds.

Trent Jones (Sr., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS) and Kenneth Sheldon (Sr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) of Willamette each shot 315 during the championships. Jones carded scores of 78, 79, 79 and 80. Sheldon shot 77, 81, 79 and 78. Andrew Kibbee (Fr., Kenmore, WA/Bothell HS) shot 322 for the Bearcats, with rounds of 76, 81, 78 and 87.

Willamette began the fourth round on the 10th hole and finished the day on the front nine.

Sam Hinton (Sr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) Friday's action included two eagles by Willamette golfers. Sheldon recorded a 3 on the par-5, 552-yard 14th hole. Hinton, who had an eagle on the 14th hole on Thursday, added an eagle 3 on the par-5, 515-yard 6th hole on Friday.

Davis provided the top nine-hole score of the day for Willamette on the front nine with an even-par 36 on one birdie, one bogey and seven pars. For the round, Austin's 73 included two birdies and three bogeys.

Illinois Wesleyan University, which was tied for first with Huntingdon College (Ala.) after three rounds, won the NCAA Championship with a score of 1174 (287-291-302-294). Huntingdon finished in second by three strokes at 1177 (299-291-290-297). Guilford College (N.C.) took third at 1181 (296-286-300-299). Concordia University (Texas) was fourth with a score of 1193 (288-311-301-293), and Methodist College (N.C) placed fifth at 1197 (300-298-301-298). Concordia's 293 was the low round on Friday. Illinois Wesleyan's 287 in the opening round was the low round of the tournament.

Rounding out the top 10 were Wittenberg University (Ohio) in sixth at 1198 (295-292-308-303), Oglethorpe University (Ga.) in seventh at 1200 (295-303-303-299), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) in eighth at 1201 (299-302-303-297), Hope College (Mich.) in ninth at 1207 (305-303-303-296), and Trinity College (Conn.) in 10th at 1209 (290-308-309-302).

Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) was 11th at 1216 (307-292-313-304) and Hampden-Sydney College (Va.) was 12th at 1222 (297-315-309-301). Willamette was 13th at 1228. North Carolina Wesleyan College followed in 14th at 1232 (312-304-310-306). University of St. Thomas (Minn.) was 15th at 1236 (310-310-313-303).

Sam Goldenring of Williams College (Mass.) won the individual NCAA Championship with a score of 3-under-par 285 (69-74-70-72). Josh Gibson from Hope was two strokes out of the lead in second place at 1-under-par 287 (72-71-73-71). Drew Mathers of Huntingdon was third at even-par 288 (70-73-72-73) and Jacob Arnett of Oglethorpe was fourth at 290- (73-70-74-73). James Mishoe from Guilford placed fifth at 292 (75-72-72-73).

A three-way tie for sixth place at 293 included Cade Osgood of Southwestern University (Texas), Stephen Shephard of Huntingdon and Josh Hill of Guilford. Osgood shot 75-74-75-69, while Shephard carded 77-70-72-74, and Hill shot 73-70-75-75. Drew Pershing from Illinois Wesleyan and Addison Manning from Guilford tied for ninth place at 294. Pershing shot 70-73-80-71 and Manning shot 73-72-72-77.

Austin Davis (Fr., Culver City, CA/Culver City HS)

Big Moment of the Day for Willamette

Austin Davis shot 1-over-par 73 for the second day in a
row. On Friday, his round included two birdies, three bogeys
and 13 pars. He carded an even-par 36 on the front nine and
was one-over on the back nine for a 37. Davis tied for 24th
in the final individual standings at 299.