Effective plays bring top results during opening tournament

Junior Alex Fitch tees off for the Wildcats in the new season. Photo courtesy of Kelly Bird

The men’s and women’s golf teams are off to a good start for the season, with both teams finishing near the top.
Men’s golf earned second place during its first tournament last weekend during the Pacific Fall Invitational.
“We have many new faces this year,” coach Greg Copeland said. “I was pleased by how they played.”
The men’s team comprises 10 athletes, six of which travel and compete in invitationals. Four Linfield athletes landed top scores.
Junior Alex Fitch led the Wildcats, finishing third. Junior Beau Slayton and senior Yutaro Sakamoto
ended with a three-way tie for fifth place, while freshman A.J. Taylor came in eighth place.
“The conditions were tough,” Taylor said about the Pacific tournament. “It was windy and the greens were pretty fast.”
A final score of 606 landed Linfield a second-place spot. Pacific University came out on top with a score of 604. Corban College took third place with 617 points.
Whitworth and Pacific universities will be Linfield’s toughest competition this season, Copeland said.
“Teams are improving,” he said. “We don’t know who has acquired strong players. But we have the talent to win conference.”
Linfield is hosting the next invitational at
Michelbook Country Club
on Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.
Despite poor weather conditions, the women’s team placed second out of six during the Pacific Fall
Invitational on Sept. 18 and 19.
Linfield finished the tournament with a total score of 681, only five shots behind the first place team, Whitworth.
“The scores were really close,” coach Brian Trowbridge said. “First place was only five shots off. That’s almost one shot per golfer. We’re right there.”
Sophomore Brinn Hovde, was pleased by the teams’ performance and is optimistic about the season.
“We should have won,” Hovde said. “We have potential to go far.”
Three strong golfers placed in the top 10. Senior Brynn Hurdus finished the tournament in second place, scoring 80 on the first day and 81 on the second. Hovde and freshman Hannah Christianson showcased their talent with scores of 172 and 167, respectively.
Trowbridge has high expectations for the season.
“We’re going to try to place top three in conference,” he said. “There have been a lot of changes this season, but the girls are adapting well.”
Christianson agreed with Trowbridge.
“We will do well in conference,” she said. “We have a lot of strong players. We definitely have a chance to be right up there in the competition.”
The Wildcats will compete next at the Willamette Three-Way on Oct. 1 in Salem at Illahe Hills.

Katey Barger/Staff reporter
Katey Barger can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

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