SPOKANE, Wash. – Alexandria Smith (Jr., Bellingham, Wash.) carded three birdies and hit for par or better on 11 holes in all as Linfield finished tied for fifth place at the Whitworth Invitational, a two-day event that concluded Monday afternoon at the Spokane Country Club.
Smith shaved eight strokes off her first-round score, including finishing one-under on holes 3, 8 and 18, to record a two-day total of 88-80-168. The improvement in play moved her up the ladder in the individual standings, as Smith jumped from 23rd place to 13th (tied) by the end of the second round.
“I was in a good rhythm throughout the round,” Smith said. “I hit more greens than yesterday, and then was able to two-putt for par.”
Sophie Corr snuck into the top 20 with a 90-86-176 over 36 holes, 28 strokes over par. She matched her first-round score (44) on the front nine, but needed four fewer swings to complete the back nine on Day 2.
After posting Linfield’s lowest score after 18 holes, Maggie Harlow (Fr., Hillsboro, Ore.) slipped a bit during the second round, adding three strokes each to her front 9 and back 9 scores to finish with an 87-93-180. That was still good for a two-way tie for 23rd place.
Brinn Hovde (Sr., Bellingham, Wash.) posted back-to-back 46s over the first nine holes on each day, but struggled with holes 10-18 even more on the second day, shooting 57 on Monday to finish tied for 33rd with a total score of 96-103-199.
Hovde worked herself out of a jam on the fourth hole. Facing a blind shot from about 110 yards out, she lifted the ball over a large group of trees to get within 15 yards of the pin, where she was able to finish for par.
Though her scores did not factor into the team total, Erin Heltsley showed significant improvement from Day 1 to Day 2, dropping 12 strokes off her first-round score to post a score of 125-113-238 over 36 holes in her first collegiate tournament.
Collectively, Linfield saw the least fluctuation between its first and second round team scores – one stroke – whereas the rest of the field shot much higher (up to 19 strokes) on Day 2. But despite the consistency, the Wildcats are left somewhat unsatisfied after their first tournament of the 2012-13 competitive season.
“Most of us left shots out there that could have improved our scores. Some of us played a lot better today and some of us weren’t too happy with our rounds,” Smith said. “But overall, we did really well putting and that helped. Practicing getting on the greens will be a big thing (going forward).”
Despite increasing its team score by seven strokes on Day 2, Whitman could not be caught in the team standings, winning the seven-team tournament with a total score of 316-323-639, outpacing host Whitworth by 16 strokes. The Pirates’ Emily Guthrie posted the lowest score on both days, and was the only player under 80 for the second round, to top the 40-competitor field by eight strokes (four-over-par 74-76-150).
COMING UP: Linfield hits the links again next weekend, traveling about 35 miles north to The Reserve Golf Club for the Culturame Classic, hosted by George Fox. Tournament play begins Saturday and concludes Sunday.
Two birdies on front nine
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