By Eric Del Prado
The Bearcat men’s golf team dominated the Willamette Spring Thaw at Oregon Golf Association Golf Course in nearby Woodburn Oregon. Sophomore Sam Hinton led the way, shooting a combined even par with a score of 144. Hinton attributes his success to “developing a game plan ahead of time and sticking to it no matter how things were going for me.”
Sophomore teammate Kenneth Sheldon was only a stroke behind in second place and Senior Clark Wilson came in third with a score of 147. Hinton was also quick to give praise to his teammates.
“Kenneth [Sheldon] deserves the trophy as much as I do, he played two great rounds,” he said.
Senior Peter Mitzel came in ninth place, shooting a 153, while Sophomore Trent Jones rounded up the five-man team with a score of 154. Competing as individuals, Willamette golfers senior Collin Fuller shot a 160 and sophomore Dylan King shot a 181.
As a team, the Bearcats shot a combined 589, good for first place. Coming in second place were the Whitworth Pirates with a score of 607 and Linfield College came in third with a score of 610.
The Bearcats’ next match will be the Northwest Conference Tournament on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23. Going into this event the ‘Cats are in second place in the conference after two second place finishes in the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic. They have a chance to take the title if they perform well as the winner of the conference tournament receives 16 points. The Bearcats are two points behind Pacific Lutheran, but feel confident going into the weekend.
“I think it is safe to say that we feel we have done all we can in preparation and all that is left is to put our hard work to use and see if we can’t take home the big one,” Hinton said.
Hit ‘em far and hit ‘em straight this weekend boys.
Junior Maddi Barnett led the Willamette Women’s golf team with an 11th place finish at the Willamette Spring Thaw. She was consistent as she was able to shoot 90 on both Saturday and Sunday to finish with an overall score of 180. Freshman Lexi Towner also played well as she shot a 193, a 95 on Saturday and a 98 on Sunday. The Bearcats did not have enough golfers to field a full team, as you need five golfers, but they were still able to gain valuable experience playing against some of the top competition in the Northwest Conference. Their next match will be the Northwest Conference Tournament on Saturday, April 22nd and Sunday, April 23 at the Tacoma Country Club in Tacoma, Washington. They will not compete as a team, but Barnett and Towner look to compete against the best golfers in the Northwest Conference in hopes of winning an individual title.