IOWA CITY—Slashing 12 shots off its first-round score, the Central College men’s golf team climbed back to a third-place finish at its Central Fall Classic Tuesday.
After opening in seventh in the 13-team meet, the Dutch closed at 323-311—634 on the par-72 Finkbine Golf Course. Nebraska Wesleyan University had one of its best fall showings to win with 302-304—606 while St. Ambrose University followed at 315-309—624. Buena Vista University was fourth at 321-319—640.
Coach Mel Blasi said the Dutch were in position for an even bigger turnaround.
“I thought especially the first 15 holes we played more like we’ve been playing this fall,” Blasi said. “We got off to a decent start and Harold was really on a roll early. And then Cole McGriff got it going on the back nine and made an eagle on 15. But we really stumbled coming in. Those holes are tough but we just threw away a lot of shots there at the end that could have helped us.”
Harold Dobernecker (junior, Nevada) made the biggest move for the Dutch, regaining his footing to tie for 10th individually at 83-74–157. Cole McGriff (sophomore, Grinnell) shot 80-78—158, Lucas Wendel (senior, Le Claire, Pleasant Valley HS) had 77-81—158, Jacob Moffett (junior, Mount Pleasant) had 83-79—162 and Kyle Gabos (senior, Plymouth, Minn., Maple Grove HS) shot 85-80—165.
Central’s second unit, the White team, finished sixth at 329-316—645. Freshman Blake Wynn (Milan, Ill., Sherrard HS) posted an 83-77—160, tying Kayden Pendergrass (sophomore, Mount Vernon) who shot 80-80—160.
Blasi said the Finkbine course presents unique challenges.
“The greens are very severe and when you get out of position, you bring double bogey into play,” Blasi said. “We had a couple of guys that just chipped the ball too far and left five-footers coming down the hill. When you miss those, then you’ve sometimes got 15 feet coming back. Those are the shots that you want to finish strong . So it was a really good experience for us here at Finkbine to get a feel for what that’s like.”
Central closes the fall season next Monday and Tuesday at the 36-hole Grand View Invitational at the par-72 Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny. The Dutch were fifth in a nine-team field at the meet last year of primarily NAIA schools.
“Otter Creek is a great golf course and it’ll give us the chance to play 10 guys again, so it’s kind of a good way to finish our fall season,” Blasi said.