McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Alex Fitch fired the first sub-par round of his college career to carry the Linfield Wildcats to victory on their home course Friday. Fitch carded a 1-under-par 71 to claim third place at the eight-team Linfield Invitational hosted at Michelbook Country Club.
Collectively, the Wildcats scored an even 300 to edge Northwest Conference rival Pacific by a scant two strokes. Warner Pacific and Whitman shared third place, each at 304. Corban followed in fifth place at 305. Northwest Christian (321), Concordia-Portland (322) and George Fox (333) also participated.
Fitch got off to a hot start with three birdies across the first four holes before steadily cooling off as the tournament wore on. The Wildcats junior fought through with a birdie on the 18th hole to realize a new low-water mark for his career.
Pacific’s Max Bonk continued his early season tear, running away with the tournament title on the strength of a 6-under 66. Bonk’s picture-perfect round included seven birdies. The next closest competitor was Warner Pacific’s Andrew Johnson, who carded a 2-under 70 over 18 holes.
Finishing among the top 25 for Linfield were newcomer A.J. Taylor (Jr., Kirkland, Wash.), who tied for seventh place with a 2-over 74, Yutaro Sakamoto one stroke back at 75, Evan Wallace, who shot 80 to share 22nd place, and freshman Tommy Schmitz (Jr., Gresham, Ore.) who tied for 24th place with an 81.
“It was a good team effort,” said Wildcats coach Greg Copeland.
COMING UP: The Wildcats return to action Friday at the Willamette Three-Way scheduled for Salem’s Illahe Hills Country Club.
Birdie on 18 clinches first sub-par round
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