Willamette’s men’s golf team is making room in their trophy case after a very successful weekend at the Willamette Spring Thaw on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21. The tournament was held at the Wildhorse Golf Course in Pendleton, OR. After finishing third, below Whitworth University and Pacific Lutheran last weekend, the Bearcats accelerated to the top. The Bearcats earned an overall team a score of 569, beating Whitworth by one point for a first place finish.
The weekend started out a bit slow for Willamette as they fell behind by four strokes at the end of the day on Friday, April 19. Whitworth’s team took a four-stroke lead in front of WU, while the Bearcats held a four-stroke lead over third place Corban. WU’s team score was 283 after the first day, which was five-under-par. Whitworth’s score was 279 after the first day, while Corban’s was 287.
Willamette mounted a comeback in the second day of the tournament as the Bearcats covered a four-stroke spread to win by one stroke. Whitworth fell to second place while Corban held tsground in third place.
Senior Trent Jones displayed an outstanding performance and won the individual championship with a score of six-under-par, 138 on a 36-hole course. Jones led throughout the tournament, finishing in first place after the first day of play, shooting four-under-par and then two-under-par on the second.
First-year Austin Davis finished in second place with a score of five-under-par, 139, tied with Whitworth’s Sam Stiles.
Isaac Calderon and Marcus Frazier of Corban both hit for a combined score of 141, three-under-par. Calderon and Frazier led Corban’s team, exhibiting strong performances but were weighted down by Kasey Crossland, Alex Cole and Riley White who placed in 19th, 28th and 35th, respectively. Derrick Phelps and Preston Roth of Whitworth tied for sixth place with scores of 143, one-under-par. Whitworth’s last golfer finished in 17th place.
Senior Sam Hinton came in eighth with a score of 71 on the first day and 73 on the second for an average of 72, which was even par. Senior Kenneth Sheldon finished in a four-way tie for 13th place with a combined score of 148. First-year Andrew Kibbee topped off WU in 26th with a score of 154.
Willamette will compete in its final tournament of the 2019 season at the Northwest Conference (NWC) Tournament on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28 at the Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, WA. The tournament will be hosted by Whitman College.
The NWC Tournament is worth one-half of the overall NWC Championship. The NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic, each worth one-fourth of the title, have already been completed. With only the NWC Tournament remaining, Whitworth, Willamette and Pacific Lutheran have a reasonable chance to win the title after each placed in the top three at the first two tournaments.