ALOHA, Ore. – Consistency up and down the lineup carried the Linfield Wildcats to respectable scores Saturday over the opening 18 holes of the Pacific Spring Invitational. The eight-team tournament, hosted by Pacific University, was staged under sunny skies on The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club’s South Course.
Two Linfield squads competed Saturday. Eight Wildcats placed among the top 20 in a field of 45 competitors.
Led by a 3-over-par 75 by A.J. Taylor (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.), Linfield’s A group shared third place with a score of 309.
“A.J. hit the ball well today,” said Wildcats coach Greg Copeland. “Even after a making bad chip, he came back to sink a good putt to limit the damage.”
Also scoring for Linfield’s A group were Taylor Klopp (Jr., Eugene, Ore.), who is eighth after the first round with a score of 77, Taylor Pirnke (Jr., Mill Creek, Wash.), one stroke back at 78, and newcomer Adam Ruben, who shot a 79 in his second tournament since joining the program. Ryan Nolan is tied for 20th place after carding an 8-over 80 during the first round.
The B group, getting a solid rounds of 78 from Kyle Hargrave (Jr., Clackamas, Ore.) and Logan Munson (Jr., Wilsonville, Ore.), shot a combined score of 316 to sit in fifth place, comfortably in front of Northwest Conference programs Willamette (326), Pacific (329) and Lewis & Clark (348).
Hargrave, a promising freshman, birdied his last two holes to finish Day 1 on a roll, including planting a 30-foot putt on the 17th hole. Adrian Koza was one stroke back of Hargrave and Munson at 79, with Tommy Schmitz at 81 and Kevin Kawasaki (Jr., West Linn, Ore.) at 86.
Corban and Warner Pacific share the tournament lead at 308, well within Linfield's grasp.
"All the guys believe they can play better on Sunday," said Copeland. "We have a good shot at winning this tournament. We've been inconsistent from one round to the next in the fall and here in the spring. Now the question is, 'Can we go out and put two solid rounds together?'"
Action resumes Sunday morning at The Reserve.
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