POLK CITY – Two day, 36 holes, and more than 600 strokes came down to mental math contest. As the club pro at the Tournament Club of Iowa used his best calligraphy skills to ink each score on a giant leaderboard the each golfer, coach and fan began to crunch the numbers.
For the players, their arithmetic began about as soon as they walked off the course.
“We all try to think about it, see who has the best scores and try to figure out everything,” Kennedy senior Harrison Moore said.
The Cougars entered day two of the 4A boys golf state championship one shot ahead of Waukee and two ahead of Johnston. As the digits continue to pile on the board, it became a two horse race between Kennedy and Waukee. And as the final scores registered on the board and in the minds of the hoard of people surrounding it, Kennedy’s one shot advantage turned into a one-shot second place finish.
“They got beat by one stroke… Are you serious?!…Oh my goodness,” were just a few of the reactions which radiated from the crowd.
Waukee won the state championship with 617 strokes. The Cougars finished with 618.
“We’re a little bit all kind of quiet right now,” Moore said. “We’re all a little bit upset right now.”
After posting a 307 on Friday, the Cougars top four scorers turned in a 311 on Saturday. Moore and Davis Sutton both finished the tournament carding a 152, good enough for the sixth best score. Conner Kobert finished the tournament with a 153.
Xavier also competed and after being back 10 strokes on day one, finished tied for eighth with a 645. Matt Junge finished with a two-day 153, which placed him 10th overall. John Ingwersen tallied a 155.
“I was really proud of their performance,” Xavier head coach Tim O’Brien said. “I thought we had a nice first day. We were in the thick of things 10 strokes out of the lead. But this was Xavier’s first trip to states since 1999 so I really pleased overall.”
Kennedy head coach Mark Wilden shared the same sentiment of his team’s play. The Cougars began the season with a loss in the Super Meet to Xavier, but got better each time out. They wound up winning the conference and district titles.
All this from a team that graduates just two seniors – only one of which who’s scoring qualified in the tournament.
“We’ll be back. It’s a marathon. These kids will be back. They’re young,” Wilden said. “They probably don’t even realize exactly what they did this weekend, they’re so young.”
Young and nieve, they ended up getting more than just a trophy.
“We wanted to finish fourth, anything higher would be gravy,” Wilden said. “And we got gravy.”