HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. – Carding a 4-over-par 76 on the final day, Linfield College’s Alex Fitch elevated from 26th into a tie for 22nd with an overall score of 299 as play concluded with the fourth and final round at the NCAA Division III Championships at Mission Inn Resort and Club.
The Linfield College senior was named a third team All-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America, becoming the first Linfield men’s golfer to receive All-America recognition.
Further solidifying his postion as perhaps the greatest golfer in program history, his placement of 22nd marked the highest finish at nationals by a Linfield golfer in NCAA competition, exceeding the previous high-water mark of 44th shared by his brother, Andrew, and Tyler Nelson.
For the day, Fitch planted two birdies and had five bogeys on the challenging El Campeon course, a layout littered with water hazards. The rest of the round he played even on the way a respectable score of 76.
On the lengthy 448-yard seventh hole, he ran into complications with some trees, but chipped out of danger to salvage a bogey. His ball landed in a sandtrap on No. 8, but he two-putted for another bogey. Again on par-5 10th hole, he ran into some tree trouble, but cleverly used his 3-wood to get up and down for a birdie
“Alex played a solid round,” said Wildcats coach Greg Copeland. “All in all, he played great.”
Ogelthorpe, led by individual champion Anthony Maggaclia, claimed the team title. Maggaclia shot 6-under for the tournament, ending at 282 over 72 holes.
At 11 over par, Fitch’s tournament scores were fairly consistent, save for the first day. His scorecard read 78-70-76-75-299.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Fitch, Copeland and the other four members of the Linfield men’s golf national-championship delegation return to Oregon Saturday morning. . . as a team, the Northwest Conference champion Wildcats placed 27th among 41 competing teams at the NCAA Championships.
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