Creston-Orient/Macksburg overcame a three stroke lead held by the Clear Lake boys golf team after the first day of State competition and won the Class 3A title Saturday in Ames. The Lions, with two players in the top six, finished third.
“Like most of the season, weather was a main contributor at our tournament. With the lead after day one, we were probably one more thunderstorm away from winning our school’s seventh state
championship,” said Lions Coach Eric Perry. “The most remarkable thing was during the storms, not one of our golfers said the words cancel or state championship. All our golfers wanted to play the final day, even in horrible conditions. It appeared they did not want to win a title on a rain-shortened event, even though we had no control on the events in day two before it started.”
Creston’s championship marks the first time since 2003 a team south of I-80 has won a team title. That was Pella, at their home course.
“Our guys don’t look for excuses, but our season this year was cut extremely short with the weather. Many practices and meets were cancelled. Maybe the lack of practice time became a factor, but our effort was always there,” said Coach Perry.
On day one of the tourney the Lions played and competed as well as they could, according to their coach. “ Five of the six golfers on our team have played Ames Golf and Country Club at least four rounds before the State tournament had even started. After the first day, or guys commented on how prepared they were and felt this gave them an advantage.”
Clear Lake’s Dane Waldron and Tommy Schick, both sophomores, led the Lions. Waldron, was tied for the lead after shooting a 5-over 76 on Friday. He carded an 80 on Saturday and finished in a tie for second place as an individual with a two-day total of 156.
Schick was tied for third after the first day of play with a 77. He finished with a two-day total of 159, placing him in a tie for sixth.
Creston’s Carson Wittington won the individual title with a score of 155.
“Hard telling on day two if it was the rain, wind, or the rest of the teams figured out what we knew on Friday. Either way, our golfers just didn’t have their best game on Saturday,” said Perry.
“I’ve said it all year, Dane has a great swing and a love for the game. He likes to practice and works hard on his game. There was a period of time when the weather was extremely poor. A couple double bogies hurt his chances at an individual title. I remember Dane being very uncomfortable on those holes. Dane needs to gain experience and prepare himself for the elements in the future. That might make the difference in the next two years,” said the coach.
Schick was consistent, as well, he added.
“On day one, he finished poorly on the last three holes of the front nine, but came charging back to shoot par 36 on the back-- one of only a few to do this. On day two he was cutting his drives, and with the wind, he was losing distance and control, finding himself in poor situations. Tommy then had to rely heavily on his chipping and putting. Ames’ greens are very hard to read, therefore, he struggled most of the day just to get pars.”
Senior Treslyn Allison was a solid performer for the Lions, shooting rounds of 84 for a total of 168.
“Treslyn played about as consistent of golf as you could. He did a great job of coming back after a troublesome hole,” said Coach Perry. “Tres is a smart enough player, he can usually get his way out of trouble. Treslyn was part of a State runner-up team and a third place team in the State, so had a very good prep career. Tres was a pretty consistent scorer from our team and will be missed.”
Another sophomore, Jon Carew, helped to give the Lions the lead on the first day of play. Carew shot an 83 on the opening day. He followed with an 89 on day two for 172.
“Jon was three over par after his first eight holes. In the next several holes he managed to take a double and triple bogey. This is the part of the game that has raised Jon’s scoring this year. We need Jon to start avoiding those big numbers and he can become a consistent, and maybe a low consistent scorer next year. Once he loses those big numbers, he’ll be a consistent scorer for us. I look forward to working with Jon in the future.”
Senior Shawn Snelling scored for the Lions on the second day of action. He had rounds of 88 and 87 for a 175.
“Shawn had some good stretches of golf, but ran into some problems during the tournament. Even though Shawn was disappointed with his state tournament performance, he was big in a lot of meets for us during his four year career,” said Coach Perry. “His sophomore year he was part of our State Championship team. Also, Shawn was in a playoff for North Central Conference medalist and helped put us over the top and win the NCC Championship this year. Shawn will also be missed next year.”
Also competing for the Lions was sophomore Austin Rurup. He carded a (93-93) 186.
“Austin had a rough couple of days. He was having trouble getting off the tees and he was having trouble with the greens. When your driver puts you in bad positions, scoring is always tough. In my opinion, Austin was our most improved golfer this year. By the middle of the year, we were using his scores a lot of the time. If Austin works