KENNEWICK, Wash. – Linfield's Alex Fitch shot a four-under round of 68 to lead the Wildcats to the top of the team standings on the first day of the 2012 Northwest Conference Men's Golf Tournament at Canyon Lakes Golf Course. Host Whitworth is five strokes behind Linfield in second place.
Fitch's round of 68 gives him a one-stroke edge over Pacific Lutheran's Dustin Hegge, who shot a three-under 69. There is a four-way tie for third place between Whitworth's Joey Degroff, Linfield's Connor Magnuson, Puget Sound's Nick Kelly and Pacific's Garrick Knowles – all with one-over rounds of 73.
The team scores following the first day are: Linfield 293, Whitworth 298, Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound 303, Pacific (Ore.) 311, Willamette 314, Whitman 319, George Fox 325, Lewis & Clark 376.
Winds were down on Saturday, allowing for lower scores. There were ten rounds of 74 or better.
In addition to Fitch and Magnuson, Tyler Klopp shot a 74 and A.J. Taylor shot 78 to give the Wildcats four players in the top 20.
PLU and UPS are tied for third place, but the Lutes will play in the final group of Sunday's pairings because of Hegge's opening round.
The second round will begin at 7:30 a.m. as a shotgun start.