Dragons outduel Bobcats at Elmwood
This spring the Marshalltown girls’ golf team has had nearly every type of weather thrown at it, and on Thursday Mother Nature had another trick up her sleeve.
The Bobcats played through a constant drizzling rain in their CIML Iowa Conference dual against Johnston at Elmwood Country Club, with the rounds finishing just as a cell carrying thunder and lightning rolled into town.
It was the Dragons who would roll out of town with a win, however, taking a 184-201 victory over MHS and handing the Bobcats (2-1, 2-1) their first dual loss of the season.
Marshalltown head coach Lucas Johnson said the loss had more to do with Johnston playing well than his girls playing poorly.
“We knew that we would have to play well to compete against Johnston, they are a top five or six team in the state for a reason,” Johnson said. “They have four, five, even six girls that can really play and their top two girls are going to play college golf next year.”
Kassy Vest had her best dual performance of the year in the loss, as the senior finished as co-meet medalist with a 5-over-par 40, tied with Johnston’s Abbie Gault for the lowest round.
Vest had a new partner playing alongside her on the day, as freshman Kyra Feldman moved up to play with the top group with senior Bella Russell missing the meet for a prior obligation. Johnson said he thought Vest and Feldman, who finished second on the team with a 52, competed well against the Dragons’ top two.
“I was really proud of the way that Kassy and Kyra played with them, especially early on,” he said. “They were beating them heading into the seventh hole and we ran into some trouble there.”
The par-5 seventh hole was an issue for essentially every Bobcat golfer on Thursday. Aside from Vest making bogey on the hole, every other Marshalltown golfer shot at least a triple bogey, if not worse. Johnson said the course has a way of getting to golfers on some holes, and his girls experienced that on Thursday.
“That’s just one of the things that Elmwood can do to you, put you in spots where you can make a big number if you’re not careful,” he said. “It’s our home course so it’s one of those things that we will learn from and we will see it again.”
Following Vest’s 40 and Feldman’s 52, Emily Hass was the next-best MHS scorer with a 53, while Ciara Feldman shot a 56, Emma Younkin a 61 and Taylor Naughton a 67.
Gault was the high scorer for Johnston with her 40, followed by Taylor Sedivec with a 45, Kelsey Wilde with a 46 and Nicole Jordan with a 53.
While the Bobcats had some issues with the seventh hole, the par 3s were good for scoring all day. Both of the birdies for the team came on the par 3s, and Johnson said those were just a few of the good holes for his girls.
“I am proud of how they battled, we had some really good holes out there,” he said. “Kassy rolled in a birdie on No. 3 and Kyra followed with a birdie on No. 6. Our par 3s were outstanding.”
Though this was a loss, Johnson said it was good for his girls to learn a valuable lesson about how important scoring is when you aren’t playing a full 18 holes.
“That’s the kind of the thing we talked about with the girls after the round, the fact that one hole in a nine-hole meet, you don’t have a chance to recover from it,” he said. “We will focus on the positives of the holes that we did play well and we will learn from that. Our team is a resilient one so I’m not worried about that, and we will get a chance to see them again down the road too.”
Marshalltown will actually get another crack at Johnston today when it plays in the Newton Invitational at Westwood Golf Course, starting at 3:30 p.m.
Johnston 184, Marshalltown 201
Elmwood Country Club, front nine, par 35
Co-Medalist — Kassy Vest, MHS, 40; Abbie Gault, JHN, 40.
JOHNSTON (184) — Gault 40, Taylor Sedivec 45, Kelsey Wilde 46, Nicole Jordan 53, Grace Chickering 55, Grace Dawson 57.
MARSHALLTOWN (201) — Vest 40, Kyra Feldman 52, Emily Hass 53, Ciara Feldman 56, Emma Younkin 61, Taylor Naughton 67.