BLANCO, Texas – Shaving six strokes off his first-round score, Linfield senior Alex Fitch came within one stroke of taking top honors at the Texas Lutheran Intercollegiate Invitational Tuesday at Vaaler Creek Golf Club.
Fitch’s 70 equaled the lowest round of the day and vaulted him from a share of 15th place into second place. Concordia-Texas’ Jack Cersosimo carded a 71 to edge Fitch, 145-146, for medalist honors.
Fitch missed a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole that could have earned him a share of first place.
“I feel like I played well enough to win, but just didn’t make enough putts,” said Fitch. “My ball striking from tee to fairway and from fairway to green was really good.”
As a team, Linfield improved its overall score from Monday’s first round, trimming five strokes to finish at 310 for the day and 625 for the tournament. The Wildcats, though, slipped from sixth place after Day 1 to eighth in the final team standings. Cal Lutheran won the tournament by seven strokes, surging past first-round leader Mary Hardin-Baylor for the team trophy.
“Alex was steady today,” said Wildcats coach Greg Copeland. “As a team, we improved but just ran into a couple of bad holes.”
Taylor Klopp (Soph., Eugene, Ore.) improved his score by two strokes to share 33rd place at 158. A.J. Taylor (Jr., Kirkland, Wash.) saw his score mushroom from 77 to 83 for a 160 total and finished in a tie for 41st place. Tommy Schmitz (Jr., Gresham, Ore.) also dropped a couple of strokes to card an 80 on Tuesday and 162 for the tournament, good for a piece of 48th place.
“I thought we could have performed better today,” said Fitch. “We need to get away from double and triple bogeys or penalty strokes. If we can do that, we’ll be fine.”
COMING UP: Linfield competes next at the Pacific Invitational, scheduled Saturday and Sunday at The Reserve Golf Club in Aloha.
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128