By Eric Del Prado
The Willamette University men’s and women’s golf teams participated in the Willamette Spring Thaw Tournament at the Pronghorn Resort Golf Club.
On Saturday, junior Kenneth Sheldon was in the lead after shooting a 70 in the first round of the tournament. He held a two stroke lead over the golfer in second place. First year Ben Graham was in third place with a score of 73. Senior Spencer Hong was in 17th place after shooting an 80 and junior Trent Jones shot a 90.
After Saturday the Bearcats were tied for second place with a team score of 317. Sunday’s portion of the Spring Thaw was extra dramatic. After the 18 holes were completed, there was a four-way tie for first place. Graham and Sheldon entered the playoff hole, accompanied by Lucas Balala of Linfield College and Mason Koch of George Fox University. Graham won the playoff after the second hole, winning the Spring Thaw individual title. Sheldon finished the tournament tied for second place and Hong came in 18th place.
As a team the Bearcats tied for fourth place with a score of 634. Willamette’s next event will be the NWC Tournament, this weekend at Oakbrook Golf Club in Longwood, Washington. The Bearcats look to follow up their strong fall season when they won the NWC Fall Classic.
The Willamette women’s golf team also competed in the Willamette Spring Thaw Tournament at Pronghorn Resort Golf Club. Senior Madi Barnett was tied for ninth place with a score of 92 after Saturday’s play. Sophomore Kristen Barclay shot a 101, which was good for 16th place and first year Katerin Vasquez shot a 131. On Sunday, Barnett shot a 86 to give her a combined score of 178. She finished in fourth place in the tournament. Vasquez improved her score by two strokes on Sunday, shooting a 129. The Bearcats did not enter a team into the tournament. They will finish their season in the NWC Tournament next weekend.