31 Iowa Conference titles
IOWA CITY—Seeking its sixth consecutive Iowa Conference tournament title and 32nd overall, the Central College men’s golf team opened play at the four-round league championship with a 313 and sits fifth after Friday’s first 18 holes.
Playing the par-72, 7,186-yard Finkbine Golf Course, the Dutch struggled in windy conditions and trail the University of Dubuque Spartans by 18 strokes. The venue, which serves as the home of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, has hosted two rounds of the conference tournament since 2004-05.
“It’s pretty simple, we didn’t play well,” coach Chad Green said. “We have a lot of talent, but we’re inexperienced and that showed today. We put ourselves in tough spots and made bad decisions, which led to high scores. It was a disappointing start.”
Central’s tournament lineup sports five juniors, but none with more than one year of varsity experience.
Desmond Stoll (Lockport, N.Y.) tied for ninth individually with 76, followed by Adam Squires’ (Waterloo, Columbus HS) 78. Clay Curwin (Faribault, Minn., Shattuck St. Mary’s HS) carded 79, while Jon Prescott (Mendota, Ill.) finished with 80. David Watson (San Diego, Calif., Patrick Henry HS) rounded out the lineup with 84.
“Desmond played some solid golf,” said Green. “But it takes great golf to compete at the conference tournament and that’s what we need moving forward.”
Simpson is second with 304, followed by Luther’s 305 and Wartburg’s 308. Coe is two strokes behind the Dutch in sixth, followed by Loras’ 331 and Buena Vista’s 341.
“The small positive is that this happened in round one,” Green said. “We have three rounds to make our move. We have the talent to do so, but we need to go out and play well.”
Dubuque’s Eric Wolfe leads the medalist race after firing a 2-under-par 70. Wartburg’s Ryan Shields is second with 72.
The second round is all the more important considering the site of the final two rounds is the Spartans’ home course.
“Tomorrow is moving day,” said Green. “We need to position ourselves in the top three and post a low number. We’re capable of doing it, but we need to go do it.”
Friday’s top-three teams—Dubuque, Simpson and Luther—tee off at 11 a.m., followed by Wartburg, Central and Coe at 11:45 a.m.