BANKS, Ore. – Hitting 16 of 18 greens on his way to a solid 68, Linfield’s A.J. Taylor (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) staked the Linfield Wildcats to a two-stroke lead at the Pacific Invitational Saturday at Quail Valley Golf Course.
Ryan Kukula of Willamette fired a 66 to lead the field of 36 golfers, but Corban’s Joey Duwe is in hot pursuit at 67, followed by Taylor. Three golfers sit deadlocked at 69, among them Linfield’s Alex Fitch. Roger Hults of Pacific and Will Ferguson from Willamette also remain in contention at 69.
Linfield shot a 5-under-par 283, two strokes in front of Northwest Conference foe Willamette. Corban sits in third place at 293, Pacific is fourth at 297, followed by George Fox at 311 and Whitman at 312.
Also scoring for the Wildcats were three freshmen: Ryan Nolan with a 71, Thomas Arand (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.) with a 75, and Taylor Pirnke (Jr., Mill Creek, Wash.) at 83. Playing as an individual, Tommy Schmidt shot a 73.
Fitch was even par after 14 but rallied to birdie three of final four holes for his 69. Nolan eagled the 10th hole to begin the back nine on his way to a 1-under-par total.
“All day, our guys were just solid,” said Wildcats coach Greg Copeland. “Some of the greens were pretty tough to putt on.”
Action continues Sunday at Quail Valley GC.
“Our goal is to continue to go out there and hit greens and make putts and hold on to our lead,” said Copeland. “It’s shaping up to be a two-team race between Linfield and Willamette.”
Complete scoring was unavailable Saturday night.
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