Willamette University’s men’s golf team opened their season at Pacific Lutheran University’s Collegiate Open this past Saturday, Sep. 14 and Sunday, Sep. 15 in Dupont, WA. Sophomore Austin Davis led the Bearcats with a sixth-place individual finish, with first-year Alex Weirth right behind him with a 13th-place finish. Sophomores Andrew Kibbee and Tyler Shreve finished 45th and 57th, respectively, and first-year Carlos Cortes Dequidt finished in 70th place. Willamette placed sixth overall out of the 12 schools that took part in the tournament.
Davis started the tournament strong, swinging a 70, two under the par of 72 on Saturday. For comparison, the leaders on the first day were Jared Beals and Travis Bossio of Grey Harbor College, who were tied for a score of six under par of 66. Davis tied with golfers Reilly Hegarty of Whitworth University and Brook Wyatt of Frasier University for sixth place. Weirth, in the first tournament of his collegiate golf career, was one of eight golfers tied for 13th place at one over par of 73. Both Shreve and Kibbee finished Saturday with a score of seven over par 79, tying six other people for 54th place. After the first day of play, the University of Fraser Valley (Canada) held the lead with 278 points. Grey Harbor College held second with 286 points. Whitworth University took third, only two strokes behind Grey Harbor at 288. WU was in seventh at 301.
On Sunday, Davis pushed his way to tie for sixth place with a 72 even-par on day two. He tied with Tyler Cassell from Grey Harbor with a score of 71-71 each day at one under par. Weirth played a very consistent game, finishing one over a par of 73 both days. His score earned him 13th place in the individual standings with an overall score of 146. Kibbee stepped up his game after day one, improving on his day one score of 79 by ending Sunday four over par, 76 to claim 45th place. Shreve finished in 57th with 159 total points. Following him was Dequidt in 70th place with an overall score of 178.
Willamette ended the tournament in sixth place with a score of 602 (301-301). Fraser Valley took first with a score of 563 (278-285), while Pacific Lutheran University tied for second with Whitworth with a score of 583. Grey Harbor came in fourth with a score of 585 (286-299), while Spokane Community College took fifth, beating WU by one stroke for a final score of 601 (297-304).
“Overall, I thought it was a very positive start,” Willamette head coach Patrick Daugherty said in his interview with assistant athletics director Robert McKinney. “We are pretty young, and for three of our guys this was their first college event. There is certainly room to grow and get better in certain areas, but overall it’s invaluable experience that we can build on.”
The team’s next challenge will come at the Bulldog Invitational, hosted by the University of Redlands on Saturday, Sep. 21 and Sunday, Sep. 22. The match will be held at the S Club in Rancho Mirage, CA. The women’s golf team will also be participating at the event in what will be the first competition of their season.