MISSION, Ore. – Linfield is within striking distance of the upper third of the team standings after Saturday’s first round of the Northwest Conference Spring Classic, hosted by Whitman College. With 18 holes left to play at Wildhorse Golf Course, the Wildcats sit in fourth place, trailing third-place Whitworth by only three strokes.
George Fox leads all teams with a cumulative score of 312; Whitman (320), Whitworth (328) and Linfield (331) round out the top four teams.
Hannah Christianson paced the Wildcats with a six-over-par 78 and is tied for fourth place in the individual standings with Whitman’s Elaine Whaley. Kelsey Morrison of George Fox was the only player to finish under par on Day 1, carding a one-under 71 to open up a five-stroke lead over the 40-player field.
“Our girls played very well today,” said head coach James Yen. The highlight of the day for the Linfield women was a total of seven birdies, five of which came from the Smith sisters.
Alexandria Smith (Sr., Bellingham, Wash.) sits alone in 13th place after carding an 11-over-par 83 on Day 1. Sophie Corr and Lydia Smith find themselves in a four-way tie for 15th place. The two each totaled 85 strokes over the first 18 holes.
Though her score did not count toward Linfield’s first-round team score, Brinn Hovde played her way into the top 20 with a 15-over-par 87.
“The weather was challenging today,” Yen said. “Toward the end of the day the wind started to pick up and scores started to get a little higher.”
In addition to the top four squads, other team scores included Willamette (338), Pacific Lutheran (356), Pacific (385) and Puget Sound (419). Lewis & Clark only entered two golfers and therefore did not compile a team score.
The NWC Spring Classic counts 25 percent toward determining the league champion and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The other three-quarters of the scoring are drawn from the NWC Fall Classic, in which Linfield placed fourth, and the NWC Championships, which is held in late April.
Second-round action tees off Sunday at 11:30 a.m., again at the Wildhorse Golf Course.
First-round score of 83 is her lowest of the spring
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