UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Playing on arguably one of the toughest courses in the Pacific Northwest, Linfield claimed the top two places while also acquainting a new teammate as the Spring 2013 season got underway with the Pacific Lutheran Invitational on a beautiful afternoon Sunday at the Chambers Bay Golf Course.
With the three clubs – Linfield, Puget Sound and host PLU – already getting a late start with a 1 p.m. tee time, having all 14 golfers finish the five-mile, links-style course before the sun went down proved impossible. As only the first group was able to complete all 18 holes, scores were compiled for just 16 holes.
Alexandria Smith (Sr., Bellingham, Wash.) took home medalist honors for the first time in her collegiate career, carding a round-low 77. She was the only player to finish under 80 for the day, outpacing fellow Wildcat and runner-up Brinn Hovde by seven strokes. For Hovde, it was her first top-five finish of the year.
Eight strokes back and taking home a share of sixth place was Maggie Harlow (Soph., Hillsboro, Ore.), who shot a 92 over 16 holes.
Pacific Lutheran topped the team standings with a cumulative total of 365 after placing all four of its scoring golfers in the top eight. Puget Sound finished second (418) while Linfield, which only had three golfers complete the entire course, did not compile a team score.
Though the weather – sunny skies and virtually no wind – was perfect for a round of early-spring golf, that did not diminish the fact that the women were playing on easily the toughest course they’ll face all season. Chambers Bay, located along the shores of Puget Sound, has been tabbed as the site of the 2015 U.S. Open, the first course in the Pacific Northwest to receive such an honor.
“It was good for us to get that under our belts and know that it’s only going to get easier from here on out,” Hovde said. “We just felt good getting out there and getting to compete again.
“We all had our good holes. There were just some tricky ones that caught us up here or there.”
Newcomer Libby Sturges (Sr., Richland, Wash.) made a valiant effort in her first round of golf, recreationally or competitively, getting about halfway through the course before bowing out due to the pace of play.
“For her first tournament to be at Chambers Bay and to have such a good attitude about it, that was a success,” Hovde commended her teammate.
UP NEXT: Linfield takes to The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha for the Pacific Invitational, which features seven teams from the Northwest Conference. Tee times for both Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10, are set for 8:30 a.m.
Out to a great start this spring
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128