ALOHA, Ore. – Steady play over two days earned Linfield senior Alex Fitch a share of medalist honors at the eight-team Pacific Invitational Sunday at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club.
Fitch shot matching 73s both days to finish with a 2-over-par 146. Meanwhile, teammate A.J. Taylor (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) trimmed two strokes off his first-round score, helping spur the Wildcats to the tournament title.
Linfield shot a cumulative total of 599, two strokes better than Community College of Spokane, which ended Saturday’s opening round tied with the Wildcats at 301. Linfield was the better team Sunday, scoring 298 on the 6,500-yard, par-72 course.
The difference between first and second places may have come from the putter of Linfield freshman Connor Magnuson, who shot a second-round low of 72 to finish at 150, good for a share of sixth place.
“Connor played great,” said Wildcats coach Greg Copeland. “He kept it together and maintained even par all the way through (Sunday’s round). That was huge.”
Magnuson sat at 3-under after 10 holes before a hail storm engulfed the course, causing a 20-minute delay. That seemed to steal away some of Magnuson’s momentum, but he weathered the storm, so to speak, to finish his round six strokes better than Day 1.
For Fitch, the defending Northwest Conference champion, it was his fifth tournament crown of the 2011-12 season.
The Linfield senior sank a 25-foot putt for birdie on the 10th hole before running into a rough patch over the next four holes that included a pair of three putts and a ball hit into the water.
“Alex just kept on grinding,” said Copeland.
Andrew Roller of Community College of Spokane match Magnuson’s low round of 72 on Sunday, pulling him even with Fitch for a share of the medal. Centenary’s Jamie Gibson was third at 147. Taylor shot 75-73-150 to finish in a deadlock for fourth place with first-round co-leader Dylan Maine of CCS.
Taylor Klopp (Jr., Eugene, Ore.) shot 75-80-155 to earn a portion of 12th place.
Linfield’s “B” team played sufficiently to take sixth place among the eight teams. Tommy Schmitz scored 160 to place 23rd, Dillon Alegre and Logan Munson (Jr., Wilsonville, Ore.) each carded 164s for a portion of 25th place, Nick Orsborn shot 167 to finish 30th overall, and Taylor Pirnke (Jr., Mill Creek, Wash.) was at 170, tied for 32nd.
AHEAD: Linfield takes a week of rest for Spring Break before resuming action at the Northwest Conference Spring Classic. Hosted by Whitman College at Wildhorse Golf Course near Pendleton, the tournament counts one-fourth toward determining the 2011-12 NWC team champion.
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