Bearcats Win Willamette Spring Thaw with Hinton in 1st, Sheldon 2nd, Wilson 3rd

Sam Hinton (So., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS)
Sam Hinton (So., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

WOOBURN, Ore. -- Willamette University won the team title at the Willamette Spring Thaw in men's golf by 18 strokes, and Bearcat athletes finished first, second and third on the individual leaderboard, as the tournament concluded at the Oregon Golf Association (OGA) Golf Course on Saturday, April 15.

The Bearcats achieved the top spot in the team standings with a score of 589 (295-294). Whitworth University was second at 607 (302-305).

Sam Hinton (So., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) of Willamette finished in first place with a 36-hole score of even-par 144. Hinton shot a tournament-low 70 in the first round and carded a 74 in the second round, as he edged out teammate Kenneth Sheldon (So., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) by a single stroke.

Sheldon earned second place at 145 (73-72). Clark Wilson (Sr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) from Willamette was third at 147 (74-73).

"The guys played great," Head Coach Patrick Daugherty said. "This course was a difficult course and they did very well on it."

Following Willamette's three leaders in the individual standings was Sam Stiles of Whitworth, who took fourth place at 150. Stiles carded a 75 in each round.

Two golfers -- Jamie Carroll of Whitworth and Mason Rodby of Linfield College -- tied for fifth at 151. Carroll shot an even-par 72 in the first round, before shooting 79 in the second round. Rodby owned a 79 on the first day, and then shot even-par 72 on Sunday.

Logan Davis and Bodhi Parkin, both from Linfield, tied for seventh place at 152. Logan shot 77-75 and Parkin carded 75-77.

Willamette's Peter Mitzel (Sr., Red Bluff, CA/Red Bluff HS) was one of five golfers tied for ninth place at 153. Mitzel shot a 78 in the first round and improved to 75 in the second round.

Trent Jones (So., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS) also competed on the Bearcats' official five-man team. His 36-hole total was 154 (79-75).

Collin Fuller (Sr., Grants Pass, OR/Grants Pass HS) and Dylan King (So., Cottonwood, CA/West Valley HS) of Willamette competed as individuals. Fuller shot 160 (82-78), while King recorded a score of 181 (92-89).

Willamette's score of 589 and Whitworth's score of 607 led the team competition. Linfeld was third at 610 (308-302). University of Puget Sound placed fourth at 627 (322-305), with George Fox University in fifth at 630 (313-317), and Pacific University in sixth at 656 (338-318). New Hope Christian College did not field a complete team.

The Bearcats will compete at the Northwest Conference Tournament on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23 at the Tacoma Country & Golf Club. The NWC Tournament counts for one-half of the overall NWC team championship.

With the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic -- each worth one-fourth of the title -- already completed, the Bearcats are in second place in the standings. Pacific Lutheran University leads the NWC standings with 16 points (two first place finishes), while Willamette has 14 points (two second place finishes) and George Fox has 10 points.

The winner of the NWC Tournament will receive 16 points, with points awarded to other teams on a 14-12-10-8, etc. basis.