31 Iowa Conference titles
MARYVILLE, MO.—Central College shaved 19 strokes off its first-round score to finish second at the 14-team Graceland Invitational Saturday.
In fourth place Friday after shooting 311, the Dutch fired 292 Saturday despite a 45-minute rain delay after three holes. NAIA Ashford University was first at 587 with Central second at 603. NAIA Baker University (Kan.) took third while Central’s second unit, the White squad, slid one spot to fourth at 611.
“It was a big improvement from yesterday,” coach Chad Green said. “We knew where to go and where to miss on the course and also putted better, but I was especially happy with our mental game. After the rain delay we struck good shots and continued to play well while other teams struggled.”
Bryan Laraia (junior, Ankeny) and Jon Prescott (sophomore, Mendota, Ill.) each tied for third individually on the par-72 Mozingo Lake Golf Course at Maryville, Mo. Laraia had the best round each day for the Red team carding 76-72—148. Prescott led the White squad at 75-73—148. Ashford’s Chien Hau Tan took medalist honors at 74-68—142.
“Bryan was outstanding in his first varsity tournament and if he keeps playing like that he’ll secure a spot in the top five all year,” Green said.
Justin Livingston (senior, Winterset) and Adam Squires (sophomore, Waterloo, Columbus HS) each tied for eighth for the Red team. Livingston shot 77-74—151 while Squires had 79-72—151. David Watson (sophomore, San Diego, Calif., Patrick Henry HS) tied for 12th at 79-74—153 and Jared Nepomuceno (freshman, Corona, Calif., Santiago HS) carded 80-80—160.
“Before the rain David was 3-over but he had a tremendous effort and finished the last 15 holes 2-under-par,” Green said.
Jacob Anderson (junior, Treynor) finished seventh for the White squad at 74-76—150. Clay Curwin (sophomore, Faribault, Minn., Shattuck St. Mary’s HS) had 80-76—156 with Erik Grunder (senior, Wilton) at 79-77—156 and Mike Maller (junior, Davenport, Central HS) at 79-79—158.
“It shows how strong we are when our second team is beating players on our first team,” Green said.
The tourney was Central’s first competition in more than two weeks, having last played March 13 over spring break.
“Not being outside for a few weeks didn’t help us any, but we redeemed ourselves today,” Green said. “We can’t put ourselves in such a big hole if we expect to win but it was good to see the improvement from fourth to second.”
The Dutch travel to Normal, Ill., for the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational April 5-6 at the Ironwood Golf Course.