BANKS, Ore. – An eye-opening start by Linfield sophomore Taylor Klopp (Jr., Eugene, Ore.) had tongues talking as first-round play of the Boxer Classic wrapped up late Saturday at Quail Valley Golf Course.
Klopp could seemingly do no wrong in the early going, dropping in three birdies and an eagle to find himself 5-under par after five holes. His eagle on the first hole was followed by a birdie on holes 2 and 3. An even-par score on No. 4 was followed by yet another birdie.
“It was the best five-hole stretch of golf I’ve ever seen anyone achieve at this level,” said Wildcats coach Greg Copeland in stunned reverence.
As play continued, Klopp settled back to earth, ending the day with a 1-under par 71, one stroke back of tournament leader Jared Lambert of Corban.
Linfield shot a collective team score of 301 and trails Corban by two strokes. Those scoring for the Wildcats were Ryan Nolan at 75, good for sixth place, Kyle Hargrave (Jr., Clackamas, Ore.), tied for ninth place at 77, and Taylor Pirnke (Jr., Mill Creek, Wash.), who shares 11th place with a 78. Connor Magnuson shot an 81 but his score did not count toward the team result.
Competing individually were Linfield golfers A.J. Taylor (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) and Tommy Schmitz. Taylor carded a 76 while Schmitz had a 78.
“Everyone played really solid on the front nine, but we struggled on the more difficult holes on the back nine,” Copland said in assessing his team’s season debut. “We’re in good shape for Sunday so we’ll see what happens.”
Whitman remains in contention in third place at 305. Willamette (325), Pacific (341) and Lewis & Clark (357) also competed.
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