31 Iowa Conference titles
IOWA CITY—Three golfers placed in the top 10 as Central College captured its 30th Iowa Conference men’s golf championship Saturday.
The Dutch shot the low score in each of the tournament’s four rounds to win their fourth straight crown. The title also secures a 31st NCAA Division III tournament berth as Central will travel to the Mission Inn Resort and Club at Howey-in-the Hills, Fla. May 15-18.
Junior Justin Livingston (Winterset) shaved eight strokes off his third-round score, firing an even-par 72 at the Finkbine Golf Course to finish third. Livingston carded 80-74-80-72—306 to claim all-league recognition for the second consecutive year. He took runner-up honors in 2011.
“Justin had a heck of a turnaround,” coach Chad Green said. “He struggled with the putter yesterday but played a lot better today to shoot even par.”
Matt Vegter (senior, Morrison, Ill.) also received all-league status, finishing fourth at 80-75-76-77—308. Brent Goodenow (Johnston) also earned all-conference, finishing fifth at 90-76-69-73—308. Vegter defeated Goodenow on the first playoff hole to take fourth overall.
“Goodenow had a two-day total of 2-under par at Finkbine, which is a great score,” Green said. “After he shot a 90 in the first round he told me he was going to make all-conference and I’m happy he did.”
Brent Messmore (senior, Hudson) finished 12th at 84-77-77-80—318. Adam Squires (freshman, Waterloo, Columbus HS) carded 79-81—160 in the final two rounds after replacing Tyler Woodruff (freshman, Tucson, Ariz., Salpointe Catholic HS), who shot 87-86—173 in the first two rounds.Central closed with a 37-stroke lead at 331-302-301-302—1236. Luther College took second (343-311-315-304—1273) and Coe College was third (341-311-302-327—1281). Loras’ Sam Hermann took medalist honors at 82-72-74-73—301.
Green was named the league’s coach of the year for the second straight year.
“I’m happy we had the low score every day,” Green said. “And I’m happy that when we didn’t have four solid scores we always had someone step up to make up for that missing fourth score. Our golfers grinded out good scores throughout the tournament.”
Green is ready to return to the championships.
“There’s nothing like competing at the national tournament,” Green said. “We’re excited to go back down and represent our conference and Central.”
Photo courtesy of Josh Schroeder, Iowa Conference Office