3 up, 3 down
Davis’ 67 at Elmwood leads MHS golf to win over Johnston
All Wednesday morning at Elmwood Country Club the threat of rain loomed over the golf course as Marshalltown and Johnston faced off in a dual, neither the Bobcats nor Dragons wanting to suffer their first loss of the season.
Eventually, the skies did open up and soak the golfers, but that didn’t stymie the MHS attack, as the Bobcat boys put up yet another impressive performance to beat Johnston 284-298 for their third victory of the year, their third win over a CIML Iowa Conference opponent and first at home.
Sophomore Cole Davis shot a 3-under-par 67 to pace Marshalltown (3-0, 3-0), finishing as the meet medalist for the first time in this young season.
After signing his scorecard and escaping the rain, Davis said it was the way he closed out the front nine with a par save on No. 8 and a birdie on No. 9 that catapulted him to the great finish on the back nine.
“It was actually the up-and-down on eight that kind of got me going,” he said of his round. “Then I dropped the putt on nine and I rode the wave from there to shoot 2-under on the back.”
When asked what led to his first under-par round this season, Davis said it was his putting in difficult situations that pushed him over the edge.
“My putting was really solid today,” he said. “The driver is a little iffy right now, my ball-striking is OK, but putting was really good today.”
Though not the in his usual top spot, Marshalltown senior Nate Vance shot a solid round of 73. Junior JD Pollard matched Vance with a 73 and senior Tate Carlson finished as co-runner-up with Johnston’s Nick Pittman with both boys shooting a 1-over 71.
Both MHS senior Luke Appel and sophomore Mason Reid shot their best score this season as well, with a 78 and a 74 respectively.
Bobcats head coach Lucas Johnson said having the kind of depth his team has is crucial for recording wins against teams as good as the Dragons.
“It was tight through that front nine, we knew we were in a battle with their top two guys, Pittman and (Caleb) Peters are two outstanding players,” Johnson said. “They outplayed our guys playing with them, so I was really pleased with the way our back end of the lineup came through for us. In the 3-4 matchup we shot a 67 and a 73 then Tate threw in a 71. Nate was not quite as in control of his game today but he ground it out for a 73, so I was really pleased with our score and really pleased we could defend our home course, especially knowing state is here.”
Peters shot a 73 in the first group alongside Pittman for Johnston (0-1, 0-1), while Akansh Gupta and Nathan Petrak finished the scoring for the Dragons with a 76 and 78 respectively.
Davis, who finished as a second-team all-state selection his freshman year, said he likes how the team is playing right now and if they continue their trajectory they will be hard to match.
“I just hope to keep playing the same way, I am sure Vance will shoot under par multiple times and I know we have a couple other guys who can shoot under par,” he said. “It should be a good year.”
As for how he thought the team looked, Johnson said he knows the guys performs well when they have multiple people clicking at once, he just needs to see how they look when they face adversity.
“I think we learned last season that when we play well we can compete with anyone in the state, but it’s those meets where we don’t quite have our A-game that we still need to work on grinding out,” he said. “If we didn’t have our A-game today it would have been a lot tighter. Our depth is again showing, we had six scores in the 70s, which was great, and we had two or three scores in the 70s in the JV match.”
Next up for Marshalltown golf is the Mark Mann Invitational at the Mason City Country Club on Monday, a tournament the Bobcats have experienced a lot of success at in recent years.
“We will start getting ready for Mason City now, that’s a tournament we have won three years in a row, so we have some good feelings going up there,” Johnson said.
Marshalltown 284, Johnston 298
Elmwood Country Club, par 70
Medalist — Cole Davis, MHS, 67;
Marshalltown (284) — Davis 67, Carlson 71, JD Pollard 73, Nate Vance 73, Mason Reid 74, Luke Appel 78.
Johnston (298) — Pittman 71, Caleb Peters 73, Akansh Gupta 76, Nathan Petrak 78, Brady Green 85, Jarrod Bowser DQ.