31 Iowa Conference titles
WAVERLY—Only a 2-under-par final round could best the Central College men’s golf team, which closed out the 16-team Wartburg Invitational with 301-302—603, tying for second place with Simpson College.
Playing at the par-72, 6,614-yard Centennial Oaks Golf Club, the Dutch were the most consistent squad, with only one stroke separating its Friday and Saturday 18-hole scores. Mount Mercy Univ. finished atop the team standings after firing 2-under-par in Saturday’s final round for a 9-over-par 299-286—585.
“It wasn’t a bad score, but it wasn’t a great score,” coach Chad Green said. “In today’s age of golf, you need to shoot less than 300 to win.
“Mount Mercy played great today and deserved to win.”
Junior Adam Squires (Waterloo, Columbus HS), who led the medalist race through 18 holes, fired a 71-75—146, tying for fourth among the 97-golfer field. Classmate David Watson (San Diego, Calif., Patrick Henry HS) was the other Dutch top-10 finisher, placing 10th with 73-78—151. Junior Desmond Stoll (Lockport, N.Y.) tied for 12th with 77-76—153. Sophomore Jared Nepomuceno (Corona, Calif., Santiago HS) and junior Jon Prescott (Mendota, Ill.) each carded 157, tying for 32nd.
“It was a good showing for Adam,” said Green. “He’s played well in his last two first rounds and at this tournament he continued to play well in the second round. A few putts here and there could’ve made it an even lower total score, but they don’t always fall.
“We were missing that below-par score. We post solid scores, but we need someone to step up and shoot a low number. But overall, we played well throughout the lineup.”
Central’s second squad, the White team, shot 311-308—619 to finish sixth.
Junior Clay Curwin (Faribault, Minn., Shattuck St. Mary’s HS) led the way with a four-stroke improvement on Saturday, carding 79-75—154, tying with teammate Sam Houge (sophomore, Urbandale), who finished with 76-78—154, for 16th. Sophomore Walker Adams (Osceola, Clarke HS) posted 78-77—155, while senior Bryan Laraia (Ankeny) shot 79-78—157. Freshman Brock Morris (Manchester, West Delaware HS) rounded out the lineup with 78-89—167.
Green also noted the play of junior Tyler Woodruff (Tucson, Ariz., Salpointe Catholic HS), who carded 82-75—157, tying for 32nd as an individual.
Mount Mercy’s Ryan Schrimper took medalist honors with a 1-under-par 76-67—143, followed by his teammate Jamie Booth’s and Simpson’s Trent Lindenman’s 145.
“We need to figure out who is going to step up and play well every round,” Green said. “It’s not about one low number, but consistent performances. You can’t expect to win if you keep high scores. There’s still some time before conference and we’re going to work hard.”
The Dutch return to the links Thursday and Friday for the Grand View Invitational at Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny. It serves as the final invitational before the four-round Iowa Conference tournament April 25-26 and May 2-3.