Willamette Golf Teams Set to Host NWC Five-Way Events

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's and women's golf teams will open the 2008-09 season by hosting Northwest Conference Five-Way tournaments at the Illahe Hills Country Club on Monday, Sept. 15. Willamette will be joined by the other members of the NWC located in Oregon: George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College, Linfield College and Pacific University. The women's competition is set to start at 11 a.m. (PDT), with the men's action to begin at approximately 12 p.m.

All five teams in the women's division are expected to field full teams. In the men's division, four full teams are anticipated with a partial team slated to represent Lewis & Clark.

Willamette's women will be led by senior Whitney Ueno (Hilo, HI/Hilo HS). Ueno finished 10th at the NCAA Division III National Championship as a freshman in 2005-06. She studied abroad in the fall of 2007, and took first place or tied for first at every tournament she entered for Willamette this past spring. Another top returning golfer for the Bearcats is Andrea Hand (Sr., Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS). Freshman Alex Johnson (Salem, OR/Blanchet Catholic School) also is expected to be a key golfer for WU this season.

Ben Bryant (Sr., Albany, OR/West Albany HS) is the top golfer on the Willamette men's team. Other top returning competitors are Robbie Beard (Jr., Yankton, SD/Yankton HS) and Shane Adversalo (Jr., Honolulu, HI/University Laboratory School). Tyler Robinson (Sr., Salem, OR/Umpqua  Valley Christian), who golfed for the Bearcats from 2004-05 through 2006-07, is attending WU's Atkinson Graduate School of Management and will use his final season of eligibility this year. Willamette's top freshman is Taylor McKenzie (Hermiston, OR/Hermiston HS).

Both of Monday's events will be 18 holes in length, with each squad's top four scores counting toward the team standings. The Willamette women's squad will compete at three other Five-Way tournaments this fall. The Willamette men will play a dual match against each of its NWC counterparts from Oregon over the next month.

WU's men and women will conclude the fall schedule with the NWC Fall Classic, which will involve all nine NWC members on Oct. 18-19. The men's Fall Classic will be played at the Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, Wash. The women's Fall Classic will be held at the Juniper Golf Club in Redmond, Ore.

Whitney Ueno leads the Willamette women's golf team.

Whitney Ueno leads the Willamette women's golf team.

Ben Bryant is the top returning golfer for the Bearcat men's golf team.

Ben Bryant is the top returning golfer for the Bearcat men's golf team.