31 Iowa Conference titles
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, FLA.— Big numbers plagued the Central College scorecard Wednesday as the Dutch struggled to hold on to a spot in the top 15 after the first two rounds of the NCAA Division III men’s golf championships.
Central battled the par-72, 6,926-yard Mission Inn and Resort El Campeon course for a 317 after turning in a 303 on the par-72, 6,895-yard Las Colinas Tuesday.
“El Campeon is a tougher course, it’s tighter and a little longer, and it down poured on us for about seven or eight holes,” coach Chad Green said. “We got off to a slow start and couldn’t get back into a rhythm.”
That dropped the Dutch from a tie for 12th place to 24th at 303-317—620, 18 shots away from the top 15 cut and a berth in the final two rounds of the 72-hole tournament.
Freshman Adam Squires (Waterloo, Columbus HS) finished Wednesday’s round tied for 33rd at 72-77—149. He was one stroke away from the individual cut, which takes the top six golfers not on a team in the top 15.
“Adam scrambled well and made a couple of really nice up and down’s for par,” Green said. “It’s nice to see our only freshman in the top five play well. It will give him confidence for the future.”
Justin Livingston (junior, Winterset) was tied for sixth after Tuesday and closed at 71-81—152.
“He got on the bogey train today,” Green said.
Matt Vegter (senior, Morrison, Ill.) shot 80-79—159, Brent Goodenow (senior, Johnston) had 80-80—160 and Brent Messmore (senior, Hudson) carded 82-82—165.
“It was one of those days you know you’re going to have but don’t want to have in the national tournament,” Green said.
Oglethorpe (Ga.) is the team leader at the midway point with 285-292—577. Methodist (N.C.) is second at 291-300—591 and Texas-Tyler and Guilford (N.C.) follow at 300-205—595 each. Freshman Anthony Maccaglia of Oglethorpe continues his hold at the top of the individual standings at 68-71—139.
Central was making its 31st appearance at the national tournament. Only Methodist edges the Dutch in NCAA championships with 32 appearances. Central won seven tournaments this year, including its 30th Iowa Conference title.
“It was a very successful year overall,” green said.
The Dutch lose Goodenow, Messmore and Vegter to graduation. All three golfers were team co-captains, Iowa Conference performers and two-time NCAA participants.
“We’ll miss their scores for sure but also their leadership,” Green said.
But the Dutch will return Squires, Livingston and Drew Osier (junior, Austin, Minn.), who competed in the 2011 NCAA tourney.
“We’ll be a younger team next year but we’ll return three players with national experience,” Green said. “We’ll look for the younger golfers to step up. It’ll be their turn to shine next year.”