’Cats stay golden

Marshalltown boys golf team wins Ankeny Hawks Invitational

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • The Marshalltown boys golf team poses at Otter Creek Golf Course on Wednesday after winning the Ankeny Hawks Invitational. Pictured are, from left, Cole Davis, Tate Carlson, Luke Appel, JD Pollard, Nate Vance and Mason Reid.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • The Marshalltown boys golf team poses at Otter Creek Golf Course on Wednesday after winning the Ankeny Hawks Invitational. Pictured are, from left, Cole Davis, Tate Carlson, Luke Appel, JD Pollard, Nate Vance and Mason Reid.

ANKENY — Just over twelve hours after winning the CIML Iowa Conference dual crown on Tuesday night, the Marshalltown boys golf team was back on the course competing in its first invitational of the year on Wednesday morning.

Though they hadn’t played in a tournament to date, that didn’t hold the Bobcats back, as they walked out of Otter Creek Golf Course at the top of an 11-team field, winning the Ankeny Hawks Invitational with a score of 295.

Not only did the team come out victorious on the day, sophomore Cole Davis won the tournament outright individually with a 3-under-par 68, two strokes ahead of the second-best score.

“I struck the ball absolutely amazingly today,” Davis said after his round. “The wind didn’t really affect me because I was hitting it so well. Putting was about average, I had one three putt and a few one putts. I just got the job done.”

After the first nine holes, Davis was at 1-under for the day, but he said what propelled him into competing stronger to close out was learning where teammates JD Pollard and Tate Carlson were through their first nine.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Cole Davis sends a putt toward the hole on the 10th green on his way to taking medalist honors at the Ankeny Hawks Invitational on Wednesday.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Cole Davis sends a putt toward the hole on the 10th green on his way to taking medalist honors at the Ankeny Hawks Invitational on Wednesday.

“I felt pretty relaxed because I asked coach where everyone else was at about halfway through and he said Tate was 2-under and JD was 3-under, so I was trying to chase them because I was 1-under at the time,” Davis said. “I felt comfortable all day.”

Pollard would finish his day at a 1-over 73, good enough for fifth place in the tournament, while Carlson finished at a 4-over 76. Nate Vance finished off the team scoring with a 78, while Mason Reid finished with an 81 and Luke Appel shot an 86.

Considering this was the team’s first foray into invitational play and a course it is unfamiliar with, head coach Lucas Johnson said he was happy with how his golfers performed.

“Yeah I thought we had a good day out here, we played well on a course we aren’t very familiar with against five of the top ten teams in the state,” Johnson said after the medal ceremony. “Getting into these invites now are really a test for us. We don’t get to play with our teammates, you have to keep focused through the whole round and you can’t let one hole get you down.”

As for how his individual winner performed, Johnson said he’s continually impressed with what Davis can do on the course and how he can reach a different gear as the day goes on.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“Cole had a great day today, he was really solid early and coach (Michael) Appel said with just a couple of holes left that he just kicked it to another level,” Johnson said. “Tate and JD each were doing well early on too, they were both around two or three under par halfway through but had some harder times on the back nine.”

West Des Moines Valley took second in the team standings with a 299, while Dowling Catholic — a team the Bobcats have beaten once head-to-head this season — took third with a team total of 300.

Johnson said coming out on top while facing good teams like those two is huge for the guys moving forward and something they can build on as we inch closer to postseason tournament time.

“This was a big confidence booster for the guys, any time you beat two great teams like Dowling and Valley to come away with a victory is a good day,” he said. “Now we go to Ames and we have a couple things to work on and hopefully get better at.”

As Johnson said, though they came away with the win there are areas for the Bobcats to improve moving forward. Johnson specifically pointed to the putting on Wednesday as an area for improvement, though the wind whipping around in Ankeny definitely had an effect on the large greens at Otter Creek.

“Our putting was a bit suspect today compared to where we’ve been before so that’s something we can work on, but we knew that was going to be tough coming in because Otter Creek just has big greens,” Johnson said. “Big numbers are unavoidable at times but we had some really big numbers at times today so we need to try to stay away from those and take our medicine to keep those away.”

Next up for Marshalltown is the Turk Bowman Invitational at the Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames on Tuesday.

Ankeny Hawks Invitational

At Ankeny

Otter Creek Golf Course, par 71

Team Standings — 1. Marshalltown 295, 2. West Des Moines Valley 299, 3. Dowling Catholic 300, 4. Ames 308, 5. Ankeny Centennial 309, 6. Mason City 319, 7. Ankeny 322, 8. Southeast Polk 328, 9. Fort Dodge 381, 10. Des Moines East 388, 11. Des Moines North 473.

Individuals (top 10) — 1. Cole Davis, MHS, 68; 2. (tie) Ben Stewart, Ames, 70; Carson Caylor, VAL, 70; JJ Wickman, MC, 70; 5. JD Pollard, MHS, 73; 6. (tie) Nick Wegman, DC, 74; Jack Hurley, DC, 74; 8. (tie) Eddie Bening, DC, 75; Matt Kigin, VAL, 75; Jai Mukraj, VAL, 75; Pete Stadheim, MC, 75.

MARSHALLTOWN (295) — Davis 68, Pollard 73, Tate Carlson 76, Nate Vance 78, Mason Reid 81, Luke Appel 86.