Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
Kennedy In Second After Windy First Day At State Golf Championship
By Douglas Miles and Scott Westerberg, Reporters
MARION, Iowa Brutal wind conditions made for a challenging first day at the Class 4A boys' state golf championship at Hunters Ridge Golf Course on Friday.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy led by junior Conner Koberg, who posted a 3-over par 75 was in second place at 317, seven shots shy of Ankeny Centennial in the team race.
"When I finished, I didn't think it was going to be as low. I didn't think I was going to be in contention," Koberg said. "But now, being in contention, it feels a lot better."
On a day that saw very few birdies, Koberg managed two and scored no worse than a bogey on any hole, which he did five times. His effort placed him in a tie for fourth with defending champion Matthew Walker from Ottumwa. Des Moines Roosevelt's Aaron Wirt had the only below-par round with a 71. The Ankeny duo of Griffen Matthias (72) and Andrew Huseman (74) are second and third, respectively.
Junior Cole Murdock added a 78 for Kennedy.
Winds in excess of 20 miles per hour presented a unique challenge on the greens, where a shaking, oscillating ball resulted in some adventurous putts.
"It's hard out there when the wind is affecting the putts," said Cedar Rapids Washington co-coach Chris James, whose Warriors are in 11th place with a team score of 334. "It's windy enough when the ball is moving on the green."
A couple of underclassmen led the way for the other two Metro schools. Freshman Frank Lindwall led the Warriors with an 8-over round of 80, which included two birdies. Cedar Rapids Xavier sophomore Kellen Gray also carded an 80, helping the Saints to ninth place with a team score of 332.
"When it's windy, you just take a normal swing, try not to hit it too hard," Gray said. "Hit it on the green and try to make putts."
In order for Kennedy to make up the seven-stroke deficit today, the Cougars need a better round from junior Davis Sutton. Sutton, the top-ranked golfer in 4A, ended a frustrating day with a triple-bogey on the par-4 No. 18 for a score of 80.
"I made a few too many mistakes today," Sutton said. "Maybe, over the shots, I just wasn't in the right mindset. Maybe trying to push it a little bit too much, maybe sometimes trying to be a little bit too conservative. Just wasn't my day today."
The final round tees off today at 9:30 a.m. and winds are expected to be closer to 10-13 miles per hour.