Cats Land One-Two Punch, Win Men's Golf

News Release Date:
Saturday, April 23, 2011

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Backed by a strong one-punch from Alex Fitch and Yutaro Sakamoto, Linfield College held off Whitworth and Puget Sound by comfortable margins on Saturday to win the Northwest Conference Men's Golf Championship Tournament at Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, Wash.

With Fitch winning medalist honors (70-72 142), Linfield posted a second-round 294 team score for its top four golfers, finishing with a 36-hole total of 595.

NWC Men's Golf
Championship Tournament

Final Scores

The Wildcats beat second-place Whitworth (307-304 611) by 16 strokes and outplayed third-place Puget Sound (311-306 617) by 22 shots.

By winning this weekend's tournament, which was hosted by Whitman and caps the regular season, Linfield finished atop the final conference standings and claims the 2011 NWC title. The Wildcats also earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national championship tournament.

Puget Sound, which won the Fall Classic last October and was second to Linfield at the Spring Classic, finished second in the season-long standings. Whitworth was third, Pacific fourth and Whitman fifth.

Linfield's Fitch finished at 2-under par for the tourney, winning NWC Player of the Year honors while edging Pacific's Max Bonk (72-71 143) by a single stroke.

Sakamoto, Fitch's teammate, fired a 2-under 70 on Saturday -- the round's low score -- and finished third in the tournament's individual scoring with a 144 total.

Other team scores for the tournament: Pacific (320-305 625), Whitman (316-313 629), George Fox (320-319 639), Pacific Lutheran (319-322 641) and Willamette (355-331 686).

By virtue of their play in this weekend's tournament, Fitch and Sakamoto earned spots on the All-NWC Team. Bonk had already assured himself of all-conference honors by winning medalist honors at both the Fall and Spring Classics.

The golfers who placed fourth, fifth and sixth in this weekend's tournament also snared All-NWC honors: Puget Sound's Greg Kirkpatrick (72-76 148), Whitworth's Jesse Salzwedel (73-76 149) and Cameron Whittle (75-75 150), and Lewis & Clark's Har Rai Khalsa (77-73 150).

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902;