Bombers improve 19 strokes on second day
AMES – Bad weather and a delay didn’t get Ballard down on the second day of the Class 3A boys’ state golf meet Saturday at the Ames Golf and Country Club.
The Bombers had endured a rough first day of competition Friday, shooting a 348 over 18 holes to finish in last place. Ballard was 28 strokes out of first place and nine behind Atlantic’s eighth-place score.
On Saturday, thunderstorms pushed back tee time from 8 to 10:30 a.m., and the golfers had to go off a shotgun start as a result. The rain still hadn’t subsided by the time everyone started and there was also a cold, strong breeze.
Despite the uncomfortable conditions, Ballard stepped up and shaved 19 strokes off Friday’s score. Ballard still finished ninth with a 36-hole score of 677, but the Bombers ended up just two strokes behind Atlantic and eight in back of Central Clinton.
“I’m really pleased with our comeback today,” Ballard head coach Don Sears said. “We are really a young team and I think the competitive nerves took over yesterday. Today I’m really pleased because each player made his own determined comeback and had something to prove. I’m really pleased with all six of them; they are a close-knit group and they love to compete.”
Nash Bucher was Ballard’s top individual golfer with an overall score of 169. That score placed Bucher in a tie for 29th-place individually.
The sophomore was consistent both days, shooting an 84 on Friday and an 85 Saturday.
“I had a good experience at state,” Bucher said. “It was a rough day out there today, but I only shot one stroke worse. I feel like I played better. It was a good experience and we’ll be ready again next year.”
Mason Jensen turned in the second-best showing at state for Ballard. Jensen overcame the conditions to cut five strokes off his Friday score and finish with a 171.
Michael McVicker and Nick Hartman had the biggest turnarounds for Ballard on Saturday. McVicker shaved 10 strokes off his opening-day score to card a 172 and Hartman did a whopping 13 strokes better to finish with a 173.
“The first day I was just too worried about and let it get to my head,” Hartman said. “Today I was just out there playing and trying to have fun.”
Ty Mason delivered a 174 for Ballard with an 88 on Friday and 86 Saturday. Brandon Thompson finished with a 181 after carding 18-hole rounds of 88 and 93.
Creston’s Carson Whittington was the 3A individual state champion at the Ames Golf and Country Club after shooting a 155 with rounds of 80 and 75 Friday and Saturday. Last year’s individual champion – Centerville’s Alex Moorman – finished in a three-way tie for second with Clear Lake’s Dan Waldron and Decorah’s Michael Peter as they each shot a 156.
Whittington’s performance helped Creston win the 3A team title with a score of 647. Defending champion Decorah took second with a 650 and Clear Lake placed third with a 653.
Final team scores (36 holes): 1. Creston 323-324-647, 2. Decorah 329-321-650, 3. Clear Lake 320-333-653, 4. Centerville 336-322-658, 5. Williamsburg 328-332-660, 6. Grinnell 331-332-663, 7. Central Clinton 336-335-671, 8. Atlantic 339-336-675, 9. Ballard 348-329-677.
Individual place-winners: 1. Carson Whittington (Creston), 80-75-155; 2. (tie) Alex Moorman (Centerville), 79-77-156; Dan Waldron (Clear Lake), 76-80-156; Michael Peter (Decorah), 80-76-156; 5. Ryan Christy (MOC-Floyd Valley), 80-78-158; 6. (tie) Tommy Schick (Clear Lake), 77-82-159; Corbin Blythe (Williamsburg), 77-82-159.
Ballard (677) – Ty Mason 88-86-174, Nash Bucher 84-85-169, Mason Jensen 88-83-171, Nick Hartman 93-80-173, Brandon Thompson 88-93-181, Michael McVicker 91-81-172.