BANKS, Ore. – Linfield’s Taylor Klopp (Jr., Eugene, Ore.) was the class of the field at the Boxer Classic but Corban held off a charging Wildcats squad on the second playoff hole to capture the team trophy by one stroke.
Down one stroke after Day 1, Klopp surged to a five-stroke victory in the individual standings of the six-team season-opening tournament, which wrapped up Sunday at Quail Valley Golf Course.
Klopp shot 72 on Sunday and 143 for the tournament, finishing four strokes better than first-day leader Jared Lambert of Corban and fellow Warrior Zach Mode, who carded 74 for the day and 148 across 36 holes.
Slotting birdies on holes 3, 10 and 17, Klopp ended at 1-under par for the day.
“I’ve really been concentrating on closing my round out strong,” said the sophomore who penciled in two pars and a birdie on his last three holes. “I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out today, especially under some pressure.”
With Linfield (298 on Sunday) and Corban (300) finishing tied at 599 at the end of 36 holes, a 10-player playoff began. On the par-5 10th hole, both teams sank three birdies and a par, extending the playoff to yet another hole.
At the par-4 ninth hole, the playoff was narrowed to a two-player showdown. Corban notched a pair of pars while Linfield slotted a par and a bogey, giving the Warriors the tournament title by one stroke.
In addition to Klopp’s two-round score of 143, the Wildcats benefitted from strong rounds by Ryan Nolan, who tied for fifth place at 75-75-150, Kyle Hargrave (Jr., Clackamas, Ore.), who shared ninth place at 77-75-152, and Taylor Pirnke (Jr., Mill Creek, Wash.), 13th at 78-76-154. Connor Magnuson competed as part of the team, shooting 82-81-163 to claim a portion of 19th place, but his score was not factored into team total.
Competing as individuals were Wildcat veterans Tommy Schmitz and A.J. Taylor (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.), who each shared 11th place with matching 153s during the two-day event.
“Overall, we played pretty well today considering the conditions,” said Klopp. “It was windy on the course early in the day and several pin locations and tee boxes were moved, making the course play longer than it did (on Saturday).
“We were able to put together some very consistent scores, which is going to be important to us having success this season. I know we all felt as though we could have played better, but as the scores show, we have seven guys who can put up scores in the 70s and be pretty interchangeable pieces.”
NEXT: The Wildcats host the Linfield Invitational Thursday afternoon at Michelbook Country Club. The tournament field also includes Corban, Concordia-Portland, George Fox and Willamette.
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