Henson fourth, Bobcats seventh at Linda Bloom Invite
Blustery winds and spotty rain showers greeted golfers at the start of the Linda Bloom Invite at the American Legion Memorial Golf Course on Thursday morning, but that didn’t stop the Marshalltown girls golf team from having a good day.
The Bobcats finished seventh out of 15 teams with a 389, just one stroke behind their season-best for an 18-hole tournament and six strokes ahead of their average for the year.
When the MHS girls made the turn to the back nine, the weather and wind worsened, but head golf coach Lucas Johnson said it was in the hard conditions that his team played its best.
“As a team, I was impressed with the way we played on the back nine in some of the worst conditions of the day,” he said. “We started out with some big numbers early on, but I think it helped the girls knowing that they had the toughest stretch of the course out the way.”
Freshman Amber Henson once again proved to be a solid fixture at the top of the lineup, as she shot an 12-over-par 83 to place fourth individually. Johnson said Henson is proving to be one of the best players in the state with how she continues to put together rounds.
“Amber has been playing so consistently and to see her finish in the top five in all of our invitationals thus far, especially considering the quality of the fields we’ve played against, is outstanding,” he said. “Those back to back birdies on the front nine got her going and she was feeling confident heading into the back and was able to add another birdie on twelve.”
Henson had birdies on the No. 7, 8 and 12 holes, and she was six inches from an eagle on the par-5 12th.
Finishing behind Henson was Kyra Feldman with a 99, then came two more freshmen in Brynn Van Buren and Norah Wilson, who rounded out the scoring with a 103 and 104 respectively.
“To see three of our four counting scores coming from freshman shows the potential this team has not only this year, but long term,” Johnson said. “We know there’s a lot of learning to do, but it’s great to see the strides the girls have made since their middle school days when they first started practicing with us. Brynn Van Buren and Norah Wilson have both been working hard at their games and have set the goal to be under 100 consistently. For them it’s a matter of staying patient and making good decisions to avoid the big numbers that sometimes can pop-up. As freshman, that’s part of the process of learning the game and how to score.”
Waukee was the tournament champion with a team score of 329, and Rylee Heryford from Newton was the individual champion with a 6-over 77.
The Bobcats have been busy this week with two invitationals and a dual, and though the girls are tired Johnson said it’s been good for his girls to get out on the course so much.
“We just completed a two-week stretch with six meets in nine school days, so I’m looking forward to a relatively quiet stretch next week where we can really focus in on the range and putting green to correct some of the technical things that we’ve been working through,” he said.
Marshalltown also received some good news on Thursday morning, finding out it will host the Class 4A Region 3 meet at the Legion on May 20. Joining the Bobcats in their home regional will be Cedar Falls, Ankeny, Des Moines Hoover, Ottumwa, Linn-Mar, Newton, Norwalk, Urbandale and Waterloo West.
Johnson, who was just informed of the news on Thursday morning as well, said it’s always an advantage to have their regional meet at home.
“Learning today that we get to be a host site for regionals was definitely welcome news,” he said. “We know we’ll have some great teams to battle against, but being able to do it at home is a big advantage. Hopefully it will add an extra layer of focus to our everyday practice rounds knowing it’s the best form of preparation we can get for the regional day.”
Marshalltown is next on the links on when it hosts Fort Dodge on Tuesday, starting at 3:30 p.m.
Linda Bloom Invitational
American Legion Memorial Golf Course, par 71
Team Standings — 1. Waukee 329, 2. Grinnell 367, 3. Ames 369, 4. Dallas Center-Grimes 375, 5. Ankeny Centennial 382, 6. Nevada 388, 7. Marshalltown 389, 8. Mason City 394, 9. Newton 396, 10. Grundy Center 399, 11. (tie) Southeast Polk 401, Norwalk 401, 13. Ottumwa 419, 14. Des Moines Roosevelt 455, 15. Fort Dodge 457.
Individual (top 10) — 1. Rylee Heryford, NEW, 77; 2. Brooke Boardman, WAU, 77; 3. Jessey Wyzgowski 78; 4. Amber Henson, MHS, 83; 5. Anne Treep, FD, 83; 6. Lydia Steier, DCG, 83; 7. Lauren Sease, AC, 83; 8. Bella Amador-Lacson, GRIN, 83; 9. Emily Ellis, NOR, 86; 10. Emalee Andrews, WAU, 86.
MARSHALLTOWN (389) — Henson 83, Kyra Feldman 99, Brynn Van Buren 103, Norah Wilson 104, Emma Younkin 111, Sydney Faltys 113.