By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's golf team is ranked #22 in the latest Bushnell/Golfweek NCAA Division III Coaches Poll for the 2021-22 season. The Bearcats placed 12th out of 24 teams at the prestigious NCAA Division III Preview in Florida to begin the season and Willamette has won three out of three tournaments since the opening week. The NCAA Division III Poll was released on Friday, Oct. 8, one day before the start of the Northwest Conference Fall Classic, which the Bearcats at 18-under par 588 over the weekend. Earlier, WU took first place at the Linfield Fall Invitational and the George Fox University Invitational.
During three of the team's last four rounds, Willamette has registered a team score of 9-under par 279. In nine competitive rounds this season, the Bearcats have earned eight rounds at 295 or lower, including five rounds at 290 or lower.
Willamette five-man team at recent tournaments has included Austin Davis (Sr., Culver City, CA/Culver City HS), Andrew Kibbee (Sr., Kenmore, WA/Bothell HS), Alex Weirth (Sr., Port Orchard, WA/Crosspoint Academy), Jack McMullin (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), and Paxton Jones (Fy., Wellington, NZ/Scots College). Davis won the individual title at the Linfield Fall Invitational, while Kibbee was second and McMullin placed third. Davis defeated Kibbee on a playoff hole to win medalist honors at the NWC Fall Classic after they tied for first place in regulation.
Davis and Weirth were two of three golfers who tied for second place at the GFU Invitational. In addition, Davis tied for fourth place out of 122 golfers at the NCAA Division III Preview.
Methodist College (N.C.) was ranked #1 this week in the NCAA Division III Poll with 296 points and nine of 12 first place votes. Illinois Wesleyan University was #2 with 279 points and one first place vote, while Emory University (Ga.) was third at 274. Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) held fourth place at 268, and Huntingon College (Ala.) was fifth with one first place vote at 266.
Among West Coast teams, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) was ranked #15, with Willamette at #22, and the University of Redlands (Calif.) ranked #23. Whitworth University received points in the poll but was not in the Top 25.
The Bearcats will compete at the Bushnell Invitational this weekend. The event is set for Sunday, Oct. 17 and Monday, Oct. 18 at the Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Oregon.