31 Iowa Conference titles
IOWA CITY — Senior Brent Goodenow (Johnston) set a career best and turned in the day’s best round as Central College maintained its lead in the Iowa Conference men’s golf tournament Friday.
The Dutch carded 301 at the Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City and hold a 20-stroke margin in the team race. Central is at 331-302-301—934 heading into Saturday’s final round. Coe College is next at 341-311-302—954 with Luther College third at 343-311-315—969.
“We didn’t lose any ground and we got a little more ahead of Coe,” coach Chad Green said. “A 301 isn’t a bad score at Finkbine – last year we shot 326 on the first day – so I’m happy with the overall score.”
Goodenow fired a personal best 3-under par 69. He’s tied for seventh in the medalist race at 90-76-69—235, jumping nine spots after entering the round tied for 16th.
“Brent was firing on all cylinders today,” Green said. “He’s been hitting the ball well but his putting wasn’t so hot and today he did both well. He played good golf on a tough course and stepped up when we needed him.”
Matt Vegter (senior, Morrison, Ill.) is third at 80-75-76—231. He’s five shots back of the individual leader, Luther’s Tobia Kohl who is at 83-72-71—226. Justin Livingston (junior, Winterset) is tied for fifth at 80-74-80—234 and Brent Messmore (senior, Hudson) is tied for ninth at 84-77-77—238.
“Brent Messmore and Vegter played solid golf and had good mental games today,” Green said. “They played steady. We want our seniors to shoot well this time of year and our seniors have done so.”
Adam Squires (freshman, Waterloo, Columbus HS) shot 79, replacing Tyler Woodruff (freshman, Tucson, Ariz., Salpointe Catholic HS) for the final two rounds of the tournament.
“Each team is allowed one sub after the first two rounds,” Green said. “Woodruff had kind of a bad week in practice and Squires was striking the ball better. Squires shot par the first six holes but then went on what we call a bogey train. But he finished strong and he put up a score we needed and counted today.”
The top 10 individual finishers receive all-conference honors. The team champion earns the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championships played May 15-18 at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
But the Dutch are focused on Saturday’s final round.
“I told the team we’re going into the final two rounds like it’s a fresh tournament and everyone is tied,” Green said. “Tomorrow we need to increase our one-stroke lead. I’d like to see us finish sub-300 as a team. It’d be nice to go out with that.”
Central has won 29 league titles, including the last three, and has advanced to the national meet 30 times.