CEDAR RAPIDS – Cedar Rapids Xavier ended a drought with a flood.
The Saints have gone years without a golfer carding an eagle in a varsity event. They closed the stretch with half of their team finishing a hole 2-under-par Monday.
Xavier had three golfers post eagles on the back nine and win the second round of the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division meet at Twin Pines Golf Course. The Saints shot 298, which was 12 shots better than second-place Linn-Mar, and has a two-round total of 588, leading the Lions by 26 heading into the divisional’s final round Sept. 24 at Hunters Ridge.
“We broke the ice on eagles, which is kind of fun,” Xavier Coach Tim O’Brien said. “We had three players snag one and all three of their scores counted.”
Xavier’s Ben Sagers reached the clubhouse anxious to tell O’Brien he had captured the the team’s first eagle in a few seasons only to be told teammate John Drahozal beat him to it.
Drahozal started the eagle bonanza with a 3 on the par-5 13th hole. Junge and Sagers scored theirs on the par-5 No. 11. Junge gave a fist pump when he notched his eagle and then slowly found out during his round that his teammates matched the feat. The team had eagle hopes before this round.
“We thought if it happened this season it would end up (Monday),” Junge said. “It was nice to get three.”
For Junge, it provided a spark to his round, and helped him to runner-up medalist honors with an even-par 72. Dubuque Wahlert’s Greg Lange was medalist with a 2-under 70.
He sat within 200 yards from the 11th green after his tee shot. A 6-iron approach placed him at the back of the green, leading to the 40-foot eagle putt.
“It took me from 1-over (par) to 1-under,” Junge said. “I got a lot of momentum after that. It’s always nice to go 2-under on one hole.”
Junge also sunk a 20-foot putt for par during the round. He relied on strong putting to keep his scores low on a windy day that added to a course setup. He said rolling fast greens that didn’t hold shots that forced golfers to play short.
“I didn’t hit the ball necessarily well,” Junge said. “I made a lot of putts that helped me hang in there.”
The Saints hung in after a tough start. They shot 1-under on holes nine through 18, improving the 11-over on the front nine. O’Brien was impressed by the maturity and perseverence demonstarted by his team.
“These kids are starting to grow up,” O’Brien said. “Even though they got off to a slow mundane start they finished strong.”
The Saints were balanced as well. Rob Thinnes was third with 74 and Sagers tied for fourth with 76. Drahozal and John Ingwerson also had 76 for the Saints. Junge and Sagers are tied for first witha two-round total of 144. Lange is third with 146
Ingwersen and Drahozal are the Nos. 5 and 6 golfers in the Saints lineup. Everyone has contributed to the Saints, giving O’Brien a positive outlook.
“Our first, second and third (golfers) have been solid all year and now the fifth and sixth players have stepped up,” O’Brien said. “We’re definitely heading in the right direction.”
Linn-Mar was led by sophomore Trevor McCann. He carded a 76, scoring a birdie on the par-5 11th. Jacob Sevcik, Elliott Siefert and Drew McGovern each added 78 for the Lions. McCann is fourth overall with 148, one shot ahead of Thinnes.
Cedar Rapids Prairie was fifth with a second-round score of 315, winning a tiebreaker for best fifth score over Cedar Rapids Washington. Matt Edl, Harry Knutson and Collin Vondracek all shot 78 to pace the Hawks.
Dominic Rodriguez led the Warriors with a 76. Matt Strand and Austin Bergstrom added 78 apiece for Washington.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy extended its lead in MVC Mississippi Divisional play Monday. The Cougars shot 317, finishing six shots ahead of Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Iowa City. Kennedy leads the J-Hawks by 20 (616-636), entering the final round in two weeks.
Jefferson’s Zach Denny was medalist with a 72, giving him a two-round total of 146 and the overall lead. Kennedy’s Cole Murdock was runner-up with 74, trailing Denny by six after two rounds.
Kennedy’s Conner Koberg and Seth Nutt added an 80 and 81, respectively. Iowa City West’s Noah Federici tied Koberg for third and is tied with Nutt for fourth overall with 157, five shots back of Koberg.
Iowa City West and Iowa City High were third and fourth in the second round. West is third overall with 311-328-639, while the Little Hawks are fourth with 670.
MVC VALLEY DIVISION
At Twin Pines Golf Course
Second round results
Teams - 1. C.R. Xavier 298, 2. Linn-Mar 310, 3. Dubuque Wahlert 312, 4. Waterloo West 314, 5. C.R. Prairie 315*, 6. C.R. Washington 315, 7. Cedar Falls 325
*-Won tiebreaker with best fifth score.
Individuals - 1. Greg Lange (DW), 70, 2. Matt Junge (CRX), 72, 3. Rob Thinnes 74, 4. (tie) Ben Sagers (CRX), Trevor McCann (LM), John Drahozal (CRX), John Ingwersen (CRX) and DominicRodriguez (CRW), 76.
C.R. Xavier (298): Junge 72, Thinnes 74, Ben Sagers 76, John Drahozal 76, John Ingwersen 76
Linn-Mar (310): McCann 76, Jacob Sevcik 78, Elliott Siefert 78, Drew McGovern 78
C.R. Prairie (315): Matt Edl 78, Herry Knutson 78, Collin Vondracek 78, Drew Digman 81, Cal Clark 81
C.R. Washington (315): Rodriguez 76, Matt Strand 78, Austin Bergstrom 78, Jon Landis 83
Teams - 1. C.R. Xavier 588, 2. Linn-Mar 614, 3. Dubuque Wahlert 617, 4. Waterloo West 328, 5. C.R. Washington 632, 6. Cedar Falls 634, 7. C.R. Prairie 641
Individuals - 1. (tie) Sagers (CRX) and Junge (CRX), 144, 3. Lange (DW), 146, 4. Trevor McCann (LM), 148, 5. Thinnes (CRX), 149.
MVC MISSISSIPPI DIVISION
At Iowa City
(Pleasant valley Golf Course, par 72)
Second round results
Teams - 1. C.R. Kennedy 317, 2. C.R. Jefferson 323, 3. Iowa City West 328, 4. Iowa City High 334, 5. Dubuque Hempstead 350, 6. Dubuque Senior 371, 7. Waterloo East NS
Individuals - 1. Zach Denny (CRJ), 72, 2. Cole Murdock (CRK) 74, 3. (tie) Conner Koberg (CRK) and Noah Federici (ICW), 80, 5. Seth Nutt (CRK), 81.
C.R. Kennedy (317): Murdock 74, Koberg 80, Nutt 81, Quinn jamrock 82
C.R. Jefferson (323): Denny 72, Ben Otis 82, Mitch Willems 83, Jake Van Orrt 86
Iowa City West (328): Federici 80, J.D. Goodfellow 82, Drew Haas 82, Dominic Muzzin 84
Iowa City High (334): Nate Goddard 82, Brady Swenning 83, Grant Simpson 84, Andrew Hein 85, Ryan Young 85
Teams - 1. C.R. Kennedy 616, 2. C,.R. Jefferson 636, 3. Iowa City West 639, 4. Iowa City High 670, 5. Dubuque Hempstead 676, 6. Dubuque Senior 684, 7. Waterloo East NS
Individuals - 1. Denny 146, 2. Murdock 151, 3. Koberg 152, 4. (tie) Nutt (CRK) and Federici (ICW), 157