Up-and-comers

Davis, 16, and Henson, 14, become youngest City Open champions

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Cole Davis hits a chip shot onto the seventh green at Elmwood Country Club during the second round of the Times-Republican City Golf Tournament. Davis shot a 3-under-par 67 to finish at 2-under-par 138 for the tournament, making him the youngest City Open champion in its 31 years.

Rain and windy conditions greeted golfers early for day two of the 31st Annual Times-Republican City Golf Tournament, and though the rain cleared in time for the rounds to get started only slightly delayed, they did leave their mark on the course.

The usually tight, fast greens at Elmwood Country Club loosened up and slowed down because of the early rain, which tripped up a few golfers, but not incoming Marshalltown High School junior Cole Davis.

Davis finished as a runner-up in the Class 4A state championship individually last year on a rainy day at Elmwood, and he used that experience to turn in a round of 3-under-par 67 on Sunday. Paired with his 1-over 71 at the American Legion Golf Course on Saturday, that put Davis at 2-under for the tournament.

Once the final group had come through, Davis was left as the only score remaining under par, leaving him alone atop the leaderboard and delivering his first City Open championship.

Davis, the youngest ever winner of the City Open at 16-years-old, said he had a solid plan heading into day two.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Amber Henson holds her trophy after winning the women’s division of the Times-Republican City Golf Tournament with a two-day score of 169. Henson is the youngest women’s champion in the 31-year history of the event.

“I felt like I was really patient all day, just waiting for the birdies to come,” Davis said. “I had a great warm-up session, I was hitting the driver well and the irons were feeling good. I just got it done.”

After making par on the first three holes, Davis had his first and only misstep of the day on the par-4 fourth with a bogey. He would make back-to-back birdies on holes six and seven to reach 1-under for the round and even for the tournament, then another set of back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes gave him enough to cruise to the victory.

When Davis made the turn he was three-strokes back of the lead and had four players ahead of him, all under par. He said that didn’t concern him, however.

“I knew I had to stay patient,” he said. “I knew the leaderboard wasn’t going to be the same by the time we were done, every six holes are like a new round. Just keep playing and see what happens.”

By the time the championship flight was through the 12th hole, Davis had taken the lead for the first time all tournament.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Grant Greazel hits his approach shot on the first hole at Elmwood Country Club during the second round of the Times-Republican City Golf Tournament on Sunday. Greazel, an incoming Marshalltown High School freshman, finished as the runner-up.

“I kind of felt like everyone around me was struggling a little bit and I played solid,” he said.

The only issue Davis said he found was in his putting, partially because of the rain-affected Elmwood greens.

“I was hoping they would have been firm, I like firm, fast greens, Davis said. “I just had to be a little bit more aggressive, I thought they would be a little bit faster but they ended up being slow, so I just had to be a little more aggressive with them.”

Though Davis shot the best round of the championship flight with a 67, his newest teammate on the Bobcat golf team was hot on his heels.

Incoming MHS freshman Grant Greazel — at the ripe old age 14 — finished as the tournament runner-up with an even-par two-day score of 140. He shot a 68 on the second day, only one of three red numbers of the round, and showed some great poise throughout.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Mason Reid rolls a putt towards the cup on the fourth green at Elmwood Country Club during the second round of the Times-Republican City Golf Tournament Sunday. Reid finished in a tie for third with a two-round score of 1-over-par 141.

“My shots just kept carrying over, I was really nervous on the first tee but I hit it in the fairway on the first shot and made par on the first hole and that just kept carrying over,” Greazel said.

Usually as a round goes on players get into a groove and don’t feel the pressure of the tournament, but Greazel said he had the opposite happen.

“I’d say it actually got worse and worse, it was just more pressure I put on myself,” he said. “I just kept making pars and carrying over, and it felt good.”

Like Davis, Greazel only had one bogey on the day and he turned three birdies. He was one of only six players in the championship flight with a birdie on the ninth hole, and he bounced back from his only bogey of the day on the par-5 13th with a birdie on the par-4 17th.

“I was not expecting this at all, it just happened,” Greazel said. “That was the best score I’ve every shot out here and I did not expect that.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Four-time tournament champion Sam Zoske played in the group with Greazel and one group ahead of Davis, and he said the two youngsters definitely earned their placements.

“Kudos to Cole and Grant, I think I’ve been here for 10 or 12 years in the City Open and that was probably the most impressive round I’ve seen,” Zoske, who placed fifth with a two-day score of 2-over 142, said. “The future is so bright in Marshalltown, it’s fun to have some kids coming up and it’s fun to see a 16- and a 14-year-old do that, and I didn’t play terrible. They beat me, there is no question they beat me. They made putts and it was really impressive to watch. It was fun and I am super excited to see these kids play well and it’s a good think for Marshalltown.”

Not to be outdone, incoming Bobcat junior Mason Reid and 2014 GMG graduate Chad Plaehn tied for third with a 1-over 141 on their two day scores, with Reid shooting even on the day and Plaehn going 1-over.

Both Reid and Plaehn owned a lead at 3-under-par at one point in the round, but both ran into some trouble on the back nine.

Zoske too looked like he was making a push at even-par through the first 12 holes, just one stroke out of the lead, but he also found some issues starting with the 13th.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“Everything was to plan through 13, it was really good,” Zoske said. “I was going to stay patient all day, and like I said yesterday, the youth I felt some were going to fall off and some of it did, but for the most part the kids really held up well. I probably should have been a little bit more aggressive on the holes in hindsight, but I played really well today through 13 holes, but I just couldn’t finish it out.”

Winning this tournament at such a young age, or even finishing as runner-up for that matter, is no easy thing to do. Zoske said you won’t find a much higher level of competition anywhere else in the state.

“I play a lot of tournament golf throughout the summer, I played in the Iowa Masters and the state match play tournament and I played Gene Elliot,” Zoske said. “I was leading going into the third round at the Iowa Masters this summer, and I come here and it feels like there is every bit as much pressure playing in the T-R City Tournament as there was at the Iowa Masters this year.

“Again kudos to these kids to being able to finish it, because that’s what it’s all about. It’s the mental game and they have it all physically, but the mental game — which I probably didn’t have until I was 30 — these kids are 16 and 14 and they are able to do it.”

It wasn’t just in the championship flight at the younger players excelled, as 14-year-old and incoming MHS freshman Amber Henson won the women’s division with a two-day score of 169, nine strokes ahead of runner-up Jackie Zimmerman.

Henson was in the lead after day one with a first-round 79, and she maintained that lead with a 90 on day two, though she wasn’t necessarily thrilled with that second score.

“I was aiming for the low 80’s,” Henson said. “I struggled a little bit today but I played really well yesterday. Elmwood is my home course but the pin placements were tough today. At the Legion it’s more straight and a little bit longer, but it’s a little easier than Elmwood is in my opinion.”

Henson is the youngest-ever women’s champion for the City Open, beating out Whitney Schrader who won the tournament as an incoming sophomore in 2004.

Now with a T-R City Tournament championship under his belt, Davis said he has quite a bit of confidence heading into this season of Marshalltown golf.

“I have struggled all summer but I think I’ve finally got the monkey off my back, so let’s keep rolling with it,” he said.

As for Greazel, taking runner-up honors in the city tournament before even getting into high school play has him on cloud nine.

“It gives me a lot confidence going into these next few weeks when we start,” he said.

OPEN DIVISION

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

1. Cole Davis -2 71 67 138

2. Grant Greazel E 72 68 140

3. Chad Plaehn +1 70 71 141

4. Mason Reid +1 71 70 141

5. Sam Zoske +2 72 70 142

6. Riley Wirth +3 74 69 143

7. Sam Weatherman +3 69 74 143

8. Troy Underhill +4 71 73 144

9. Pat Ryan +6 74 72 146

10. Tate Carlson +7 71 76 147

11. Keygan Hansen +7 70 77 147

12. JD Pollard +7 71 76 147

13. Luke Appel +9 73 76 149

14. Todd Weaver +13 74 79 153

15. Lee Van Cleave +14 71 83 154

16. Then Baccam +16 74 82 156

17. Dave Baccam +17 74 83 157

18. George Kueny +19 71 88 159

19. Conner Beaty +20 74 86 160

20. Darin Shipley +24 73 91 164

1ST FLIGHT

Joe Schmit 77 73 150

Chad Moler 75 75 150

Paul Ainley 76 75 151

Jeff Miller 75 77 152

Travis Stewart 77 77 154

Tom Weis 76 78 154

Tim Bell 76 80 156

Nathan VanBecelaere 76 81 157

Jeff Arment 78 80 158

Michael Fosdick 77 82 159

Jim Herink 78 84 162

Zach Underhill 76 86 162

Matt Yates 77 86 163

Paul Collins 78 87 165

Kent Carson 78 88 166

Mark Wolken 76 90 166

2ND FLIGHT

Jeff Schneider 79 74 153

Lucas Schneider 79 75 154

Thad Lents 80 77 157

Dave Mattox 79 79 158

Rob Sandvick 81 78 159

Greg Van Cleave 80 80 160

Derek Peng 79 81 160

Darren Bare 80 81 161

Colin Schmit 81 82 163

Grant Smith 81 83 164

Michael Younkin 80 85 165

Ron Mitchell 79 87 166

Jeff Welch 80 87 167

Dan Buffington 80 88 168

Shawn Morris 81 88 169

Jeff Tice 80 93 173

Bret Ferneau 81 93 174

Scott Smith 81 WD WD

3RD FLIGHT

Tom Apgar 82 79 161

Thomas Fleming 82 85 167

Joel Chandler 82 85 167

Todd Bolar 85 83 168

Theron Schutte 85 86 171

Owen Chaloupek 82 89 171

Bryan Herschberger 85 87 172

Ryan Anderson 85 89 174

Warren Wolken 85 89 174

Brian Ferneau 84 92 176

Brad Kadner 84 92 176

Donny Weeks 85 92 177

Pat Hala 82 95 177

Steve Knutson 84 96 180

Rob Van Horn 85 97 182

4TH FLIGHT

Tyler Stahlin 89 77 166

Jerry Summers 88 86 174

Don Merschbrock 87 89 176

Dao Sorlaesith 91 85 176

Chuck Misek 91 87 178

Doug Ridout 91 89 180

Mark Finch 88 93 181

Ben Snyder 89 93 182

Chris Paul 87 96 183

Terry Jordan 90 95 185

Joe Hannam 88 98 186

Nick Stanton 86 101 187

Robert Mancieri 90 99 189

Marty Sharer 90 100 190

Ron Davis 87 WD WD

Paul Waldron 89 NS DNF

5TH FLIGHT

Kirt Daniels 93 83 176

Aaron Fleming 93 86 179

Zach Stahlin 92 91 183

Andy Neuroth 96 89 185

Steve Ruddick 95 90 185

Rob Weatherly 93 96 189

Jason Kelling 95 97 192

Josh Capalla 93 102 195

Brian Wilkie 92 104 196

Matthew Hannam 100 97 197

Cory Logdon 96 111 207

SUPER SENIOR DIVISION

1. Rob Christensen -5 67 69 136

2. Pete Kelly -4 73 64 137

3. Tony Giannetto +4 73 72 145

4. Mike Anderson +12 74 78 152

5. Jim Carlson +20 79 81 160

6. Jeff Slaughter +28 77 92 169

7. Jack Smith +29 84 85 169

8. Doug Swenson +30 84 87 171

9. Craig Schutt +34 77 98 175

10. Don Stansberry +37 84 94 178

11. Don Anderson +38 87 92 179

12. Steve Dunham +38 82 97 179

13. Bing McHone +39 86 94 180

14. Doug Weatherman +45 96 90 186

15. Jon Bru +45 91 95 186

16. Don Dodd +47 90 97 187

Mike Knoll 86 WD WD

Gerald Hamilton 90 WD WD

Leo Lounsberry WD WD

LADIES CHAMPIONSHIPS

1. Amber Henson 79 90 169

2. Jackie Zimmerman 83 95 178

3. Jeannie Ferneau 107 100 207

4. Liz Stewart 120 117 237

5. Jamie Hoglan 116 138 254