Still unbeaten

Marshalltown boys’ golf team takes Turk Bowman Invite title by one stroke

MHS bgolf Turk Bowman

AMES — The 2016 fall golf season ended at Veenker Memorial Golf Course for the Marshalltown boys’ golf team, so a one-stroke tournament victory in the Bobcats’ return trip to the same venue nearly 11 months later made head coach Lucas Johnson’s day.

The Bobcats shot a 301 team total to edge reigning state champion West Des Moines Valley by one shot for the Turk Bowman Invite title on Monday, shooting five strokes better than last year’s event and a whopping 15 shots improved from last October’s district meet.

All four scoring Bobcat golfers brought home a flag for finishing inside the top-18 and Marshalltown avenged last year’s one-stroke loss to Ankeny Centennial by holding off Valley by the same margin.

“We got off to a slow start and I thought our guys did an admirable job staying positive knowing they had plenty of holes still to play,” Johnson said. “Given how last season ended with a tough round at Veenker, It’s a great feeling to come away with the team win against an outstanding field.

“We knew we’d have to play well given that six of the teams were state qualifiers last year, including the state champions in Valley, and we did just enough to eke it out. When you get one that close, it’s a great reminder to our guys just how much every single shot counts.”

MHS senior Nate Vance shared low-round honors with Southeast Polk’s Mitchell Rice after both shot a 1-over-par 73 but lost medalist honors on a cardback, while fellow Bobcat Luke Appel came in third with a round of 75.

“Nate Vance played steady golf all day and had his putter rolling again, which was great to see,” Johnson said. “Luke Appel played one of the best rounds of his career and I was especially proud of the way he battled after a rough start. He was 3-over after his first two holes and went even-par the rest of the day on what is generally considered the toughest course we’ll see all year.”

Vance coupled two birdies with three bogeys for his 1-over round, while Appel had four birdies to help overcome three bogeys and two double-bogeys. This was the first time Appel scored for the Bobcats in an 18-hole meet since last year’s Mark Mann Invitational in Mason City on Aug. 22, 2016.

MHS sophomore Cole Davis was one of six golfers to shoot 76, but his cardback yielded the best possible result with a 10th-place finish, and junior JD Pollard rounded out Marshalltown’s scoring foursome in 16th place after shooting a 77. Mason Reid (78) and Tate Carlson (81) also played within nine strokes of par for the Bobcats.

Marshalltown takes an unblemished record into Friday’s Joe August Invite, which tees off at 10 a.m. at Elmwood Country Club. Vance shot a school-record 7-under 63 to win last year’s tournament while the Bobcats won with a 279 total that was four strokes shy of the all-time MHS mark.

Turk Bowman Invite

At Ames

Veenker Memorial Golf Course, par 72

Team Standings — 1. Marshalltown 301, 2. West Des Moines Valley 302, 3. Johnston 311, 4. Waukee 312, 5. Indianola 322, 6. Ottumwa 327, 7. Mason City 328, 8. Ames 329, 9. Ankeny Centennial 330, 10. Southeast Polk 330, 11. Des Moines Roosevelt 332, 12. Ankeny 343, 13. Urbandale 351, 14. Des Moines East 408, 15. Des Moines Lincoln 415.

Individual (top 10) — 1. Mitchell Rice, SEP, 73; 2. Nate Vance, MHS, 73; 3. Luke Appel, MHS, 75; 4. Burke Pitz, DMR, 75; 5. Jake Marvelli, IND, 75; 6. Sam Jacobs, VAL, 75; 7. Carson Caylor, VAL, 75; 8. J.J. Wickman, MC, 76; 9. Michael Vicente, WAU, 76; 10. Cole Davis, MHS, 76.

MARSHALLTOWN (301) — Vance 73, Appel 75, Davis 76, JD Pollard 77, Mason Reid 78, Tate Carlson 81.