Bobcats best in CIML Iowa Conference
ANKENY — One week after the Bobcat boys’ golf team had one of its worst weeks of the season, one of the team’s best showings all year clinched the CIML Iowa Conference title Tuesday at Otter Creek Golf Course.
A medalist-winning round of even-par 71 from Grant Greazel and three 6-over 77s gave the Bobcats a score of 18-over 302, beating out state No. 1 Ankeny Centennial by four shots.
Head coach Lucas Johnson was pleased with the team’s bounceback showing, especially on the difficult back nine at Otter.
“We knew it was gonna be a tight race, especially with Ankeny Centennial,” Johnson said. “I thought we got off to a really nice start, and then we were able to keep it together on the back nine. That was kind of the Invite here before, we had a really good first night and then struggled a little bit on the back nine. I think the guys learned a little bit that first time through and were able to use those lessons to keep it together.”
Greazel shot even par on both nines, collecting two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine and adding one birdie and one bogey on the back nine to finish off his round. He won medalist by three shots over Ethan King of Centennial.
In the trio of 77s, finishing highest was Ryan Schmit in seventh. Ryan started his round with three double-bogeys in a row, but played even par golf in his final 15 holes to sneak into the top 10 and find some mojo after a string of tough outings in the last couple of weeks.
Drake Polley was disappointed by a double-bogey on 14, his second-to-last hole of the day, but he played a steady round and finished in eighth place. Colin Schmit finished in 10th place, rounding out a strong day of action for the Bobcats and a return to form that Greazel said will give the team more confidence heading into district play on Monday.
“We always talked about, after we lost the regular season to Centennial by a couple strokes, we wanted to win this one,” Greazel said. “We had this one circled on the calendar and we were ready for it, we came out and performed well. It’s great to see.”
The win over state title contenders Centennial and Waukee Northwest (who finished third at 311) has reinforced how high of a ceiling the Bobcats can reach when they play at their best.
District play for Marshalltown takes place Monday morning at Thunder Hills Country Club in Peosta, located near Dubuque. Western Dubuque will host the event. Schools such as Cedar Falls, Iowa City West and Iowa City High — as well as four Cedar Rapids high schools — will be present at the district, and Johnson knows it’s a tough matchup for the Bobcats.
“Our guys know that it’s gonna be a challenging district over there,” Johnson said. “It’s still a place where the guys haven’t grown up playing out there by any means like a lot of the courses here in Central Iowa that we’re pretty comfortable with. Overall, it’s always one of those where you’re going to go over there, put up your best number and let the chips fall where they may.”
Greazel said some of the players have gone and played the course and will do so again before the meet in an effort to get comfortable and give the team the best chance of reaching state they can.
If a Bobcat individual or the whole team qualifies for state, the meet will take place Oct. 8-9 at Beaver Hills in Cedar Falls.
CIML Iowa Conference meet
Otter Creek Golf Course, par 71
Team Standings — 1. Marshalltown 302, 2. Ankeny Centennial 306, 3. Waukee Northwest 311, 4. Ankeny 313, 5. Ames 324, 6. Mason City 343, 7. Fort Dodge 358.
Individual (top 10) — 1. Grant Greazel, MHS, 71; 2. Ethan King, AC, 74; 3. Drew Hensen, ANK, 75; 4. Kellen Welsch, AC, 76; 5. Derek Peng, AMES, 76; 6. Remick Elfers, WNW, 76; 7. Ryan Schmit, MHS, 77; 8. Drake Polley, MHS, 77; 9. Grant Tigges, WNW, 77; 10. Colin Schmit, MHS, 77.
MARSHALLTOWN (302) — Greazel 71, R. Schmit 77, Polley 77, C. Schmit 77, Kevin Strand 81, Jacob Thiessen 87.
ANKENY CENTENNIAL (306) — King 74, Welsch 76, Jack Winkel 78, Lawson Hachmeister 78, Ben Meier 78, Caden Kelling 83.
WAUKEE NORTHWEST (311) — Elfers 76, Tigges 77, Henry Manning 77, Drew Oleshko 81, Caden McEnroe 82, Pryce Sandfort 86.
ANKENY (313) — Hansen 75, Avin Legg 79, Jacob Adams 79, Jake O’Brien 80, Sam Parkinson 80, Connor O’Brien 83.
AMES (324) — Peng 76, Bowen Flemming 80, Sam Vander Wilt 80, Benji Genise 88, Hunter Gorman 91, Elliott Stenberg 92.
MASON CITY (343) — Ryan Berkley 78, Drew DeGabriele 87, Aidan Thompson 89, Gavin Als 89, Gavin Hermanson 94, John Brandt 102.
FORT DODGE (358) — Andrew Alstott 86, Peyton Hays 87, Carson Werning 90, Kord Utley 95, Nathan Beekman 96, Aidan Porter 101.