Back on track

Marshalltown boys’ golf team tops the field at Southeast Polk Invite

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown junior JD Pollard strikes the ball on his approach shot on the 15th hole at Copper Creek Golf Club in Pleasant Hill on Wednesday. The Bobcats won the Southeast Polk Invite with a team score of 295.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown junior JD Pollard strikes the ball on his approach shot on the 15th hole at Copper Creek Golf Club in Pleasant Hill on Wednesday. The Bobcats won the Southeast Polk Invite with a team score of 295.

PLEASANT HILL — When the Marshalltown boys golf team took the course on Wednesday, it was looking to rebound after not winning an event for the first time all year when it placed second in the Valley Classic on Monday.

The Bobcats rebounded strong, with sophomore Cole Davis finishing as the medalist in the Southeast Polk Invite with a 2-under-par 69 and the team winning the tournament outright with a score of 295.

MHS head coach Lucas Johnson said having that top-level score from Davis set the team above the rest of the field.

“We got a great top score from Cole Davis, which we didn’t have on Monday, so that right there was the difference,” Johnson said. “I am really pleased with how he bounced back. He didn’t have a counting score on Monday and he comes back with a 69. I am just really pleased with the way he was striking the ball and he started rolling in some putts. Great round from him.”

Davis was the runner-up last year on this same course, shooting an even-par 71, and he said the extra couple of strokes that pushed him to the top came from his ability to putt on Wednesday.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • The Marshalltown boys’ golf team poses with its plaque and individual medals after winning the Southeast Polk Invitational on Wednesday. Pictured, from left, are JD Pollard, Tate Carlson, Cole Davis, Mason Reid, Nate Vance and Luke Appel.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • The Marshalltown boys’ golf team poses with its plaque and individual medals after winning the Southeast Polk Invitational on Wednesday. Pictured, from left, are JD Pollard, Tate Carlson, Cole Davis, Mason Reid, Nate Vance and Luke Appel.

“I hit the ball a lot better last year, I didnt hit it quite as well this year but I made multiple putts outside of 20 feet today and I didn’t do that last year,” he said.

Bobcat senior Nate Vance tied for the third-best round of the day with a 1-over 72, and Johnson said given the start of his day, Vance played extremely well to record that score.

“I am really proud of the way Nate Vance played too, he was down a little bit after his first hole where he made double bogey, but he kept grinding the rest of the way,” Johnson said. “He had another double bogey in there too, so to have two double bogies and only shoot 1-over, that’s being resilient and that’s the kind of kid he is.”

Junior JD Pollard also had a top-10 mark, finishing ninth with his 4-over 75, while sophomore Mason Reid rounded out the scoring with an 8-over 79. Seniors Tate Carlson and Luke Appel finished just behind Reid with an 80 and 81 respectively.

Marshalltown beat out Waukee — the winner of Monday’s tournament and the only team to beat the Bobcats this season — by five strokes with the Warriors’ team score of 300. West Des Moines Valley came in third with a 306, while Dowling Catholic took fourth with a 310.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown senior Nate Vance rolls a putt towards the hole on the second green at Copper Creek Golf Club on Wednesday. Vance finished tied for the third-best score as the Bobcats won the Southeast Polk Invite with a team score of 295.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown senior Nate Vance rolls a putt towards the hole on the second green at Copper Creek Golf Club on Wednesday. Vance finished tied for the third-best score as the Bobcats won the Southeast Polk Invite with a team score of 295.

Johnson said he wasn’t sure how his guys would come out of the gates on Wednesday after not taking first on Monday, but he was thrilled with the way the team performed on the course.

“I was really interested to see how our guys would respond and I am pleased that they responded the way they did,” he said. “It is a busy week, but our guys wouldn’t rather do anything than be out on the golf course. It’s a good way to handle any distractions that would come with homecoming and playing three competitive 18-hole rounds.”

Davis said the Bobcats just wanted to come out and show they aren’t on a downturn after showing some weakness on Monday.

“We just wanted to redeem ourselves,” he said. “I was trying hardest to play my best and hoping all the other guys would do the same thing to see if we could get that done.”

Of course, with the game of golf, even when you are on for a day that doesn’t mean someone else won’t shoot a better score. Johnson said he stresses to the team that they can only control what they score, and if they are happy with how they played individually then it is a good day.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“When we play in these invites, I think something that people don’t necessarily realize is when you get five or six of the top-10 teams in the state, there are going to be days where a kid is going to shoot a great score, and that’s what we talked about,” he said. “We tipped our hats to Waukee on Monday, but we know that our guys are capable of shooting good scores.”

The top-ranked Bobcats will close out the regular season with an innovative meet Friday, hosting No. 2 Johnston for the Dragon Ryder Cup at 9 a.m. at Elmwood Country Club. The format will include eight golfers for 27 holes, featuring nine holes of alternate shot, nine holes of four-ball and nine holes of match play — mirroring the breakdown of the Ryder Cup.

“The Johnston coach and I are good friends and we’ve been kicking around the idea of doing match play at the high school level for some time,” Johnson said. “We both had an open playing date due to the cancellation of the Mark Mann Invitational, so we decided to give it a try.

“Our main goal is to build team camaraderie with true team golf. It’s a matchup of 1 vs. 2 in the state, so it should be highly competitive and fun for both teams.”

Southeast Polk Invite

At Pleasant Hill

Copper Creek Golf Club, par 72

Team Standings — 1. Marshalltown 295, 2. Waukee 300, 3. West Des Moines Valley, 306, 4. Dowling Catholic 310, 5. Southeast Polk 313, 6. Indianola 315, 7. Ottumwa 320, 8. Urbandale 338, 9. Ankeny 345, 10. Newton 373.

Individual (top 10) — 1. Cole Davis, MHS, 69; 2. Griffin Parker, WAU, 71; 3. Ben Meyer, WAU, 72; 4. Jake Marvelli, IND, 72; 5. Nate Vance, MHS, 72; 6. Mitchell Rice, SEP, 74; 7. Jack Hurley, DC, 74; 8. Cameron Pietzch, VAL, 75; 9. JD Pollard, MHS, 75; 10. Grady Haynes, IND, 76.

MARSHALLTOWN (295) — Davis 69, Vance 72, Pollard 75, Mason Reid 79, Tate Carlson 80, Luke Appel 81.