ALOHA, Ore. – With only one golfer posting a sub-90 score over two days, Linfield finished fifth of eight teams at the Culturame Classic, hosted by George Fox University, contested at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club.
Linfield sat in fourth place after the first round, but Whitworth improved its team score by 22 strokes on Day 2 to slide ahead of the Wildcats. Host George Fox was first overall (315-317-632), UC-Santa Cruz placed second (328-333-661), Willamette took third (336-326-662), Whitworth finished fourth (364-342-706) and Linfield was fifth (361-363-724).
The Wildcats’ lowest individual score came from Sophie Corr, who was the only Linfield golfer to post a better score on Day 2. She took nine strokes off her first-round score, carding a 94-84-177 to finish 18th overall at 31 strokes over par. Corr also provided one of the highlights for the Wildcats on Sunday, chipping in for eagle on the par-4 fifth hole.
Maggie Harlow (Soph., Hillsboro, Ore.) was Linfield’s top performer for the first 18 holes, but added five strokes to her second-round score to finish tied for 22nd with an 87-92-179. She did, however, lead the team in birdies, carding two on the first day of competition and one on the second.
Alexandria Smith (Sr., Bellingham, Wash.) and Brinn Hovde also placed in the top 30 of the 39-player field. Smith was tied for 27th with a 90-92-182 while Hovde took 30th with a 91-95-186. Hovde carded one birdie and Smith had a nice save on hole 17, making par after hitting into a hazard.
Multiple hazards, more than 100 bunkers and fast greens made for a challenging course. The rounds on both days were also very slow, making it difficult for players to get into a good rhythm.
Even so, head coach Brynn Hurdus thought her golfers played fairly steady overall.
"All of our girls got into bunkers," she said, "but they did a good job coming back from rough holes."
Competing in her second collegiate tournament, Erin Heltsley finished with a two-day total of 113-118-231.
With three weeks to prepare the Northwest Conference Fall Classic, the Linfield contingent spent the van ride home game-planning for how to lower their scores for the first of three major tournaments that decides the conference championship.
"We're going to get out on the course a bit more and practice those shots you can't necessarily practice on the range or on the green," Hurdus said. "We need to work on our approach shots and getting onto the green."
The Wildcats also need to continue to focus on the mental aspect of the game, Hurdus said. "There are good going to be bad shots out there, but you can't let it affect your next shot. They all know that, but it's putting it into action that's tough."
COMING UP: Linfield enjoys its first home tournament of the year, a dual against Corban. Play begins at 1 p.m. next Friday, Oct. 19 at Michelbook Country Club.
Lowest score of season on Day 2
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