31 Iowa Conference titles
IOWA CITY—Central College placed three individuals in the top 10, posted the low score each round and coasted to its 31st Iowa Conference men’s golf championship Sunday.
The Dutch delivered a decisive 28-shot victory to claim its fifth consecutive league title and an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament May 14-17 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. It will be Central’s 32nd NCAA tourney appearance.
Central shot 327-299-291-298—1215 with Luther College finishing a distant second at 329-310-305-299—1243 followed by Wartburg College at 342-310-301-300—1253. With a 13-stroke lead at the midway point, the Dutch stretched their advantage to 27 shots after the third round played at the Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids. The first, second and fourth rounds were held at the Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City.
“We went wire-to-wire for a championship repeat,” coach Chad Green said. “That’s one of the hardest things to do in sports and we’ve done it five years in a row. I’m happy to come away with a good victory in a strong conference from top to bottom.”
Senior Justin Livingston (Winterset) fired a 2-under-par 70 to take runner-up honors with 82-71-73-70—296. It’s the third straight year that Livingston has earned all-conference honors. He placed third in 2012 and second in 2011.
Luther’s Andrew Peter wrapped up medalist honors turning in a 68, the round’s low score, to finish with 80-73-72-68—293. Peter shared the lead with Livingston after 36 holes before gaining a 1-stroke lead Saturday.
Sophomore Desmond Stoll (Lockport, N.Y.) followed in third with 82-75-71-75—303 while sophomore David Watson (San Diego, Calif., Patrick Henry HS) won a three-way playoff for sixth at 81-76-75-74—306. Watson won the tiebreaker with a birdie on the first hole. Both Stoll and Watson earned all-league distinction for the first time.
“Placing three in the top 10 shows our depth,” Green said. “We kept the big numbers off the scorecard today and did the smart thing when we got ourselves into trouble.”
Freshman Jared Nepomuceno (Corona, Calif., Santiago HS) was 13th with 82-77-76-79—314. Sophomore Adam Squires (Waterloo, Columbus HS), subbing in for the last two rounds, shot 72-81—153.
Green was named co-winner of the coach of the year award. He shared the honor with Simpson College’s Jason Marvelli. It’s the third straight year Green has been cited.
After posting three consecutive rounds under 300, Green is hopeful of a strong showing at the national meet.
“It’s nice to have those rounds under our belt and hopefully those scores can continue,” he said. “We have a week of practice to get ready before we head down there and see what we’re made of.”
Photo courtesy of the Iowa Conference