31 Iowa Conference titles
NORMAL, ILL. — Central College’s young men’s golf team picked up some major tournament experience and climbed two spots in the process, finishing seventh at the 26-team Illinois Wesleyan Invitational Saturday.
Fierce winds with gusts above 35 mph pestered the 132-player field at the par-72 Ironwood Golf Course and sent scores soaring.
“Conditions were extremely tough,” coach Chad Green said. “It’s the most wind we’ve played in since I started at Central.”
No. 3 host school Illinois Wesleyan University won a tiebreaker to claim the team title at 298-313—611. Wheaton College (Ill.) shot 297-314—611 with No. 15-ranked Wittenberg University (Ohio) third at 293-319—612.
Central shot 304-322—626, edging past No. 5 Nebraska Wesleyan, which carded 303-327—630. The only other Iowa Conference school in the field was the University of Dubuque, which placed 12th at 316-321—637.
Justin Livingston (senior, Winterset) tied for 11th place individually at 74-79—153. Sophomore Jon Prescott (Mendota, Ill.) had Central’s best round of the day and tied for 19th at 77-78—155. Sophomore Desmond Stoll (Lockport, N.Y.) tied for 34th at 77-81—158, sophomore David Watson (San Diego, Calif., Patrick Henry HS) followed with 77-84—161 and junior Bryan Laria (Ankeny) shot 76-88—164.
“We got a good showing from Justin Livingston,” Green said. “And Jon Prescott played extremely well, especially considering this was his first varsity tournament. He hit the ball really well. I was happy to see that.”
Green said his squad is making progress.
“Obviously, you’d always like to do better,” he said. “But I’m not too upset with how we played. Our inexperience showed but we hit the ball better today.
“This was a good learning experience against some really good competition.”
Junior varsity squad triumphs—Central’s second unit, the White squad, took first place in Saturday’s Central Shootout, played at the par-72 Bos Landen Golf Club. The team shot 306, topping Grand View’s JV squad by 10 strokes. The Central Black squad was third at 320, the Gray team placed sixth at 345 and the Clear team was seventh at 352.
Freshman Jared Nepomuceno (Corona, Calif., Santiago HS) tied for first with a 2-over-par 74. Freshman Will Hunemuller (Cedar Falls), playing for the Black team, was third at 75 and Jacob Anderson (junior, Treynor) was fourth at 76.
Central heads to Decatur, Ill. for the 36-hole Millikin Invitational Friday and Saturday. The teams will play Red Tail Run Golf Course Friday and Hickory Point Golf Course Saturday.
With such a young squad and several promising players, Green said his lineup is far from settled but hopes next week’s tourney will help sort it out.
“We’ll take two teams to Millikin and try to get more people playing the same course in the same conditions,” he said.