31 Iowa Conference titles
DUBUQUE — The task is clear for the Central College men’s golf team after climbing to within three shots of first place at the Iowa Conference men’s golf tournament Friday.
The Dutch have one more round Saturday to catch 23rd-ranked Dubuque in the 72-hole tourney. The final 36 holes are being played at the par-70 Dubuque Golf & Country Club.
Fueled by a 2-over-par 72 by Adam Squires (junior, Waterloo, Columbus HS), the Dutch shot the day’s best round with 300. Dubuque had 304.
Central, trying to erase an 18-stroke first-round deficit, stands at 313-295-300—908 while Dubuque is at 295-306-304—905. Luther is third at 305-307-313—925 with Wartburg fourth at 308-312-311—931.
“It’s like I said before the tournament, it’s going to be a firefight this year,” coach Chad Green said.
Desmond Stoll (junior, Lockport, N.Y.) is tied for second in the medalist standings at 76-69-77—222. Dubuque’s Eric Wolfe has a comfortable margin at 70-70-75—215. Squires is fifth at 78-76-72—226 with David Watson (junior, San Diego, Calif., Patrick Henry HS) eighth at 84-70-75—229, Clayton Curwin (junior, Faribault, Minn., Shattuck St. Mary’s HS) tied for 16th at 79-80-77—236 and Jon Prescott (junior, Mendota, Ill.) tied for 16th at 80-80-76—236.
“Adam Squires had a solid round,” Green said. “He’s our most experienced player. We don’t have any seniors so I was happy to see a round like that out of him.”
Watson’s finish was key to Central’s performance.
“I was really proud of David Watson,” Green said. “He was 8-over and I think played 3-under over the last five holes to shoot 75. That was the score we needed today.”
The course is relatively short—at 6,120 yards, it’s more than 1,000 yards shorter than Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, the site of the tournament’s first two rounds. But it played more than challenging, Green said.
“It’s the hardest 6,100-yard course you’ll ever see,” he said. “The greens are tricky with lots of undulation. That’s what makes the golf course so tough. But we didn’t have a lot of 3-putts, so I’m happy with that.”
Central has won the past three league crowns and 31 overall, but Dubuque is the tournament favorite. The conference champ receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament May 13-16 at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.
Coming from behind will still be difficult for the Dutch.
“We’ve got nothing to lose,” Green said. “We’ll just go out and hope to put up some good scores.”