Starting its season off, the men’s golf team started out on top. The team competed at the George Fox University Invitational at Chehalem Glenn course on Sept. 17 and 18.
After the first day of competition, the Wildcats lead by 22 strokes. Senior Alex Fitch was able to regain the title of Northwest Conference Player of the year after leading by five strokes on the first day. Fitch also finished two under par. Sophomore A.J. Taylor and freshman Taylor Pirnke tied, finishing right after Fitch, taking the top three spots. Along with coming in first place on the first day, the Wildcats had four freshmen make the top 10. The two Linfield teams scored within 30 strokes of each other, the first team scoring 301 strokes, which is only 13 above par, and the second team scored 329.
Coach Greg Copeland said in an email that “our goals for the season are to win the conference championship and earn the automatic qualifier to the national championship. And once at the national championship, to make the cut. We only lost one senior of the five guys that competed at last year’s national championship and we have picked up seven new freshmen that all have tremendous upside potential.”
As Coach Copeland said, this season, the men’s golf team has seven freshmen joining the team, which makes up more than half the team.
On the second day of the tournament, Fitch scored four under par, landing him at 70 strokes for the day just as he had done the day before. During the course of the tournament, Fitch scored 140 which allowed him to take first in the competition.
Other Wildcats that did well were Taylor, who came in second only nine strokes behind Fitch, Pirnke who ended with nine above par, and freshman Thomas Arand who came in fourth place.
Between both men’s teams, all of the golfers finished in the top 15. The “A” team scored with only 17 strokes above par, where as the second team had 78 strokes above par. Both teams placed above Lewis & Clark, and George Fox came in third place.
“My hopes for this season is that the team makes it to Nationals for the second consecutive time. We have the talent on the team and I think this is a realistic goal. Some changes that we will face is we lost a great player in Yutaro last year and
we also have some freshmen and new faces on the team,” senior Evan Wallace said, The Wildcats will tee off again Sept. 24 at the Pacific Invitational at Quail Valley. The tournament will continue Sept. 25.
The women’s team will also be attending the Pacific Invitational to start off its season.
Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at email@example.com.