30 Iowa Conference titles
STORM LAKE — Only a tiebreaker kept the Central College men’s golf team from the Buena Vista Invitational Spring Invitational title Saturday.
Carrying a two-shot lead into the second round, Central finished at 300-303—603 in the 36-hole, 19-team tourney, tied with Northwestern (Iowa) and Southeast Community College (Neb.). Southeast was awarded the crown on the basis of its fifth player’s score in Saturday’s second round. Host Buena Vista was fifth and Iowa Conference rival Luther College was eighth.
Justin Livingston (junior, Winterset) tied for fourth individually at 72-77—149 at the par-72 Lake Creek Country Club. Brent Goodenow (senior, Johnston) tied for seventh at 77-73—150, Matt Vegter (senior, Morrison, Ill.) tied for 10th at 79-72—151, Adam Squires (freshman, Waterloo, Columbus HS) tied for 38th at 77-81—158 and Brent Messmore (senior, Hudson) tied for 42nd at 74-85—159.
“You can’t be unhappy with (tying for first) but we didn’t have a fourth score today,” coach Chad Green said. “We had to count an 81 and it’s tough to win with anything above an 80.
“Matt Vegter and Brent Goodenow both played well. They really stepped up and shot scores that we needed today.”
Central’s second unit, the White team, was seventh at 304-320—624. Tyler Woodruff (freshman, Tucson, Ariz., Salpointe Catholic HS) tied for 14th at 74-78—152.
It was Central’s final action before opening its title defense in the 72-hole Iowa Conference tournament. The first two rounds are set for 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday on Central’s home course, the rugged par-72 Bos Landen Golf Club. The tourney concludes with 36 holes at the Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City May 4-5.
Central has captured the last three league championships and 29 overall, including 28 in the past 36 years. Three players from Central’s conference tourney lineup return, although Green has not yet determined who will tee it up Friday. Livingston was second last year behind graduated teammate Jason Harvey while Messmore tied for 11th and Drew Osier (junior, Austin, Minn.) tied for 18th. Messmore was seventh in 2010, earning all-conference honors.
Green said the Dutch will need to be mentally sharp.
“(Today) showed our guys that every stroke counts,” he said. “A missed 5-footer is the difference between first and second. We need to put our concentration into each and every shot.
Green hopes playing on Central’s home course will give his team a boost.
“It’s always good to play in your own backyard,” he said. “We’re looking forward to hosting. No one knows the course like we do.”
But a tight meet is expected.
“Dubuque has a good team, Luther is always tough and both Wartburg and Buena Vista put up good scores this weekend. You never know with the tournament being four rounds. You don’t know who will separate themselves from the pack.”
The league champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament May 15-18 at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.