ALOHA, Ore. – Linfield improved its team score from Day 1 to Day 2, but so did five of the six other programs competing at the Pacific Invitational, preventing the Wildcats from making headway in the team standings as tournament play concluded Sunday afternoon at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club.
Alexandria Smith (Sr., Bellingham, Wash.) proved to be Linfield’s most consistent golfer over 36 holes, carding an 84-83-167 to snare sole possession of seventh place. She was the highest individual finisher from a program other than George Fox, which swept the top six places to win the seven-team tournament by 69 strokes.
After holding on to a share of second place after 18 holes, Brinn Hovde slipped to eighth place (tied) with a two-day total of 80-88-168. Her first-round score (80) was the fourth-lowest of the tournament, behind medalist Kelsey Morrison’s 78 and 72 for the first and second round, respectively, and teammate Kiana Lumanlan's 79 on Day 2.
Maggie Harlow (Soph., Hillsboro, Ore.) shot Linfield’s lowest round, and the fourth-best overall, on Day 2, with 81 strokes. That second-round score, a 14-stroke improvement from the first round, vaulted her from 24th place into a four-way tie for 16th at tournament’s end with a cumulative score of 95-81-176.
By playing better long ball, first-year player Libby Sturges (Sr., Richland, Wash.) also showed significant improvement from the first to second rounds, dropping nine strokes off her Day 1 score to finish with a two-day total of 157-148-305.
“For Libby, it was a great experience understanding the flow and how tournaments work,” said head coach Brynn Hurdus.
Linfield finished seventh among squads from the Northwest Conference and the Cascade Collegiate Conference. After George Fox (324-309-633), other team scores included: Willamette (352-350-702), Pacific Lutheran (362-346-708), Warner Pacific (365-363-728), Pacific (372-367-739), Corban (377-377-754) and Linfield (416-400-816).
“We had trouble around the bunkers and could cut down some strokes around the green,” Hurdus said, “but everyone hit the ball very well.
“I am extremely proud of everybody over both days. Everyone stayed really steady and consistent. When they got into trouble, they didn’t let it get to them and kept playing their game.”
COMING UP: The Wildcats get a sneak peek at the site of the NWC Championships, the Oregon Golf Association, in two weeks at the one-day George Fox Spring Preview. Tee times for Sunday, March 24 are scheduled for 1 p.m.
Seventh sub-90 round of the year
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McMinnville, OR 97128