’Cats get revenge on Mohawks

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown junior Mason Reid hits a shot out of the bunker on the 18th hole at the American Legion Memorial Golf Course on Thursday in the Bobcats’ 146-156 win over Mason City.

Last time the Marshalltown boys golf team was out on the course, it was barely edged out by Mason City for the top spot in the Fort Dodge Invite on Tuesday.

On Thursday the Bobcats avenged that two-stroke loss to the Mohawks with a 10-stroke dual win at the American Legion Memorial Golf Course over their CIML Iowa Conference foe, 146-156.

MHS head coach Lucas Johnson said it’s always nice to immediately wash the taste of a loss from their mouths.

“It’s a good win after getting beat by Mason City up at Fort Dodge,” he said. “It’s nice to come back and play well.”

Junior Cole Davis continued his strong showing since the Bobcats came back from a 25-day, weather-forced hiatus, taking medalist honors with a 2-under-par 33 on the back nine of the Legion.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown junior Cole Davis hits a shot from the fairway on the 11th hole of the American Legion Memorial Golf Course on Thursday in the Bobcats’ win over Mason City. Davis finished as the meet medalist in the win.

Davis, who birdied the 18th hole to secure his spot atop the leaderboard, said there wasn’t anything flashy about what he did on Thursday.

“I didn’t hit anything tight, just kind of hit it in the fairway, got it on the green and then two-putt or one-putt, and that was about it,” he said. “Just a solid round.”

Johnson agreed that Davis’ game wasn’t out of the ordinary by any means, but he has been strong this week in the team’s return to action with a runner-up finish at the Turk Bowman Invitational at Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames and at the Fort Dodge Invitational.

“Cole played great, he was coming out looking to shoot a low number,” Johnson said. “I thought he could have even lower, given the fact that he was playing really well tee-to-green. He just had a few putts that he didn’t quite drop, but overall I think he’s had a really nice week. I think he’s probably played the best out of any of our guys this week.

“Two-under par today, that’s one stroke off the school record. We thought it might be in jeopardy today when he started off hot, but he has another shot tomorrow.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

JD Pollard was the next-best Bobcat finisher with a 2-over-par 37, while freshmen Grant Greazel and Colin Schmit each finished with a 38 to round out the counting scores. Mason Reid followed with a 40, while Lucas Schneider was disqualified from his round.

Davis, Pollard, Greazel and Schmit made up four of the top five varsity scores on the day, with Mason City’s J.J. Wickman finishing as runner-up with a 33, and Johnson said he liked everything about what his guys showed on the course on Thursday.

“I thought our guys battled today. We got off to a nice start, JD and Cole both got off to a nice start by driving the green on No. 10 and making two-putt birdies, which is a pretty awesome way to start,” Johnson said. “We come back here tomorrow again for the Joe August so it’s nice to play a competitive round and see the course. It’s still pretty soft from the rains we’ve had so getting a chance to be out and get the feel for tomorrow is a nice advantage.”

This was the third meet of the week for the Bobcats (4-1, 4-1), and today’s home Joe August Invitational will be the fourth time they’ve been out on the links in the last five days. Johnson said this schedule is just what the team needed after such a long break.

“There’s still maybe a little bit of rust, we are just lacking that little bit of sharpness that comes with playing competitive golf,” he said. “Luckily this week and next week give us a lot of opportunities to get back in the groove here because this is really a key stretch of the season that we build toward. That 25-day break was nice from the perspective that we could focus in on some of the areas of the game that the guys felt like they needed to work on. We worked a lot with wedges over that time and I think we saw that today.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

That little extra work in practice has made the biggest impact on the freshmen, Johnson said, and it showed in Thursday’s win.

“Guys like Colin Schmit and Grant Greazel are starting to figure out how to score even when they don’t necessarily have their A game,” Johnson said. “Colin ground out a lot of pars today, Grant had a tough start then brought it back. That’s really what it takes to be successful at the Class 4A level, just being able to still put together a respectable score even when you’re not necessarily hitting every shot the way you want to.”

The win not only gave the Bobcats momentum heading into their home tournament, it secured at least a share of the CIML Iowa regular season title for a second-straight year.

“Being 4-1, considering the teams that we play in our conference, is a respectable record,” Johnson said. “We will go into the conference meet with some confidence knowing that we can play with Valley and Waukee at their place.”

Heading into the home tournament after going 2-under-par in a nine-hole dual the day before, Davis said he isn’t backing down from another low score.

“I will be looking to win this thing tomorrow,” Davis said confidently.

The Joe August Invitational featuring Ames, Des Moines East, Fort Dodge, Indianola, Johnston, Mason City, Newton, Des Moines North, Ottumwa, Des Moines Roosevelt and Southeast Polk as well as the host Bobcats will start at 10 a.m. today at the Legion.

Marshalltown 146,

Mason City 156

At Marshalltown

American Legion Memorial Golf Course, back 9, par 35

Medalist — Cole Davis, MHS, 33; Runner-up — J.J. Wickman, MC, 33

MARSHALLTOWN (146) — Davis 33, JD Pollard 37, Grant Greazel 38, Colin Schmit 38, Mason Reid 40, Lucas Schneider DQ.

MASON CITY (156) — Wickman 33, Evan Lynch 38, Brad Vaith 40, Dylan Pedersen 45, Pete Stadheim 47, Ben Swegle 52.