Ballard returns as a team for the first time since 2010
PELLA – It’s back to state for the Ballard boys’ golf team after the Bombers finished runner-up at the Class 3A substate meet at the Bos Landen Golf Course Friday.
Playing on one of the most difficult courses in Iowa, Ballard shot a 350 as a team over 18 holes. Ballard’s score actually tied Grinnell for the best score among the four competing teams, but Grinnell won on a card-back.
Coming up second didn’t matter in the end though, as the top two teams advanced to the state meet held this Friday and Saturday in Ames. It marks the first time the Bombers will compete at state as a team since winning an unprecedented four-straight 3A state championships from 2007-2010.
“I am very proud of these guys,” Ballard head coach Don Sears said. “Each player works for his best effort each day of practice or at a meet. We have used the term A.C.E – attitude, commitment, effort – to always strive for daily improvement.
“These guys do play this game as a team,” Sears added. “They help and encourage one another and that is contributing to our competitive scoring.”
Balance played a key role in Ballard’s success at Bos Landen. The Bombers didn’t have a single individual state qualifier, with their best score being an 85 by two individuals.
Mason Jensen and Nick Hartman shot the 85s for Ballard and Ty Mason also finished under 90 with an 88.
Jensen had nine-hole rounds of 41 and 44 and Hartman went the other way with a 44 on the front and 41 on the back. Mason was consistent all the way through, delivering two rounds of 44.
Nash Bucher turned in the final counted score for Ballard with a 92. He shot a 47 on the front nine and shaved two strokes off that mark in the back stretch.
Michael McVicker delivered a 94 and Brandon Thompson shot a 95 as Ballard’s other competitors at the meet.
“As you can see by the scores this season, I don’t have one guy with a knock-out punch of going low,” Sears said. “What I do have is six guys that love to compete, work hard and care about one another. Every player has had to step up and be consistent during the season to finish with individual scores equaling a competitive team score.”
The 3A boys’ state golf meet will tee off at noon Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday at the Ames Golf and Country Club.
Final team scores (18 holes): 1. Grinnell 350, 2. Ballard 350, 3. ADM 353, 4. Webster City 359, 5. Norwalk 364.
Ballard (350) – Mason Jensen 41-44-85, Nash Bucher 47-45-92, Ty Mason 44-44-88, Nick Hartman 44-41-85, Brandon Thompson 47-48-95, Michael McVicker 44-50-94.
Individual state qualifiers: 1. Corey Elliott (Pella), 39-42-81; 2. Wade Mawe (G), 40-43-83; 3. (tie) Colynn Black (Nevada), 44-40-84; Brody Boston (ADM), 44-40-84; Alec Fuhs (WC), 40-44-84.