By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
BANKS, Ore. -- Led by a 4-under par 68 by Austin Davis (Sr., Culver City, CA/Culver City HS), the Willamette University men's golf team carded a score of 9-under par 279 to hold first place after the first round of the Northwest Conference Fall Classic on Saturday, Oct. 9 at Quail Valley Golf Course. Willamette owned a three-stroke lead over Whitworth University, as the Pirates shot 282 for second place in the team standings.
It is the second consecutive tournament in which the Bearcats have recorded a 9-under par 279 in the first round. The Bearcats also shot 279 to open the George Fox University Invitational on Oct. 2.
Davis ended the opening day of the NWC Fall Classic tied for first place on the individual leaderboard with Sam Pauly of Whitworth University, who also shot a 68. Andrew Kibbee (Sr., Kenmore, WA/Bothell HS) of Willamette was in third place with a 3-under par 69. Caleb Belton from Whitworth and Max Ray-Keil of Whitman College were tied for fourth place at 2-under par 70.
Alex Weirth (Sr., Port Orchard, WA/Crosspoint Academy) and Jack McMullin (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), both from Willamette, shared sixth place with four other golfers who shot 1-under 71. Also tied for sixth place were Mason Rohleder of George Fox, Connor Siebert from the University of Puget Sound, Oliver Nordberg of Whitworth, and Chris Cayford of Linfield University.
Also competing for Willamette on Saturday was Paxton Jones (Fy., Wellington, NZ/Scots College), who carded a solid round of 74 and was tied for 20th place. A total of 30 golfers in the field of 45 competitors shot rounds of 76 or lower.
Willamette's 279 and Whitworth's 282 were the only team scores lower than the par of 288. Whitman held third place with a score of 294, one stroke in front of Linfield in fourth place at 295 and two strokes ahead of George Fox in fifth place at 296. Pacific Lutheran University carded a team score of 298 for sixth place in the standings, while Lewis & Clark College was seventh at 303, Puget Sound was eighth at 304, and Pacific University was ninth at 308.
The tournament will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 10 with the second round. All of the golfers will tee off on the front nine in a shotgun start at 8 a.m. (PDT). Most of the holes on the front nine will feature the opening tee shots for two groups of three golfers. For Willamette, Davis and Kibbee will begin on the first hole, with Weirth and McMullin starting on the second hole, and Jones getting underway on the third hole.
The NWC Fall Classic is one of three tournaments each year that determine the NWC team champion in men's golf. The NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic are each worth one-fourth of the title, while the NWC Tournament is worth one-half of the title.