By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
GEARHART, Ore. -- Led by the solid play of Trent Jones (Jr., Kenmore, WA/Shorecrest HS), who carded a 1-under-par 71, the Willamette University men's golf team took the lead during the first round of the George Fox Invitational at Gearhart Golf Course on Saturday, Oct. 7. Jones was alone in first place with a one-stroke lead on the individual leaderboard. Willamette shot a team score of 298 for a four-stroke advantage heading into the second round set for Sunday, Oct. 8.
Willamette was followed in the team standings by George Fox University in second place at 302. Linfield College was just two points behind GFU in third place at 304. The George Fox "B" team owned fourth place at 313, one stroke in front of Whitman College, which held fifth place at 314. Pacific University was sixth at 323 and Lewis & Clark College was seventh at 329.
Two golfers -- Mason Koch of George Fox and Bodhi Parkin from Linfield -- were tied for second place after each shot a 72. Sam Hinton (Jr., Seaside, OR/Seaside HS) of Willamette shot a 73 and was tied for fourth place with GFU's Alex Plusquellec. Five competitors, including Kenneth Sheldon (Jr., Ocean Park, WA/Ilwaco HS) of Willamette, were bunched together in a tie for sixth plate at 76. Also carding a 76 were Zach Rodriguez from Pacific, Robert Wang from L&C, Toby Zabel of Whitman, and Tanner Wahburn from the GFU "B" team. A total of 43 golfers completed the first round.
Jones, Hinton and Sheldon were three of seven golfers for Willamette. Mason Phalen (Fr., Kenmore, WA/Inglemoor HS) and Ben Graham (Fr., Renton, WA/Liberty HS) were eligible to contribute to the team score, while Spencer Hong (Sr., Bellevue, WA/Singapore American School) and Dylan King (So., Cottonwood, CA/West Valley HS) competed as individuals. Phalen registered a score of 78 and Graham shot a 79. Hong also finished the day at 79, and King shot 92.
Willamette will seek to grab its third team championship of the fall season during the final round on Sunday. The Bearcats won the 2017 Collegiate Open, hosted by Pacific Lutheran University on Sept 17-18, and followed up with a victory at the Whitworth Invitational on Oct. 1-2.