BANKS, Ore. – Shooting the best score of any Linfield golfer this season, freshman Adam Ruben rolled to a four-stroke victory at the Willamette Cup Sunday at Quail Valley Golf Course.
With four golfers placing among the top five individuals, the Wildcats won the three-team event with a team score of 295, cruising to an 18-hole advantage in the team standings over Willamette (313) and Pacific (327). Linfield claimed the Willamette Cup traveling trophy for the third straight season.
Ruben, who transferred to Linfield at the start of the spring semester from the College of the Desert, shot a blistering 68 to outdistance runner-up Ryan Kukula of Willamette.
“Adam played awesome today,” said Wildcats coach Greg Copeland. “His round of six birdies and just two bogeys was just incredible.”
Taylor Klopp (Sr., Eugene, Ore.) of Linfield was third overall at 74, while teammate Kyle Hargrave (Jr., Clackamas, Ore.) was one stroke back at 75. Tommy Schmitz turned in one of his best rounds of the year, sinking some quality putts on his way to four birdies and a score of 78.
A.J. Taylor shot an 85 and Thomas Arand had an 86, though their results did not count toward the Wildcats’ team score.
The tournament was the final tuneup before the NWC Tournament, which counts one-half toward determining the conference’s team champion and automatic invitation to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are the two-time defending champion, though Linfield sits in fourth place, a half point out of third place. Action runs Saturday and Sunday at the Oregon Golf Association Course in Woodburn.
“The OGA Course will not be the most difficult we’ve played this season so it’s certainly possible we could see some good scores,” said Copeland. “But to make up ground, we’ll have to be aggressive and play smart.”