PORTLAND, Ore. – Unable to seize advantage on a day when Northwest Conference Fall Classic leader Puget Sound saw its scores balloon by 17 strokes, the Linfield Wildcats instead settled for second place Sunday at Heron Lakes Golf Club’s Great Blue Course.
UPS held a 10-stroke lead over Linfield after the first 18 holes of the nine-team tournament Saturday. The Loggers held their lead Sunday, posting composite scores of 288-305-593 to capture the tournament title by 13 strokes. Linfield was next at 298-308-606. Whitman surged into third place at 315-297-612, leapfrogging fourth-place Whitworth, which scored 312-302-614.
Linfield senior Alex Fitch, runner-up at last season’s Fall Classic, slipped from third to fifth on Sunday after posting a 71-79-150 total, six strokes back of medalist Dustin Hegge of Pacific Lutheran.
As Fitch struggled during his second go-around on the Great Blue Course, Linfield sophomore A.J. Taylor (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) flourished, posting scores of 78-74-152 to lock up 10th place. Wildcats freshmen Thomas Arand (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.) and Ryan Nolan shared 11th place, two strokes back of Taylor. Arand carded scores of 79-75-154 while Nolan shot 73-81-154 over the two-day event. Tommy Schmitz rounded out the Linfield scoring, sharing 17th place at 76-70-156.
Linfield, which has won three of the previous four NWC championships, now sits one point behind UPS in the overall standings heading into the winter break. The Fall Classic, one of three counting tournaments featuring all nine NWC clubs, counts one-fourth toward determining the 2011-12 team champion.
The fall season is now complete with action resuming in March.
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