Centerville’s Alex Moorman had been longing for the 2014 Class 3-A Boys’ State Golf Tournament to roll around for a year now.
Moorman took the state by storm after winning the state individual title his freshman season. However, last year, Moorman was unable to repeat as the title holder. Instead, Moorman finished in a three-way tie for second place, one stroke behind state champion Carson Whittington.
Ever since, Moorman has had his eyes set on this past weekend for a chance of redemption.
“I’ve been preparing myself and working hard,” Moorman said. “I really wanted to win this year, a lot worse than I did my freshman year.”
Redeem himself, he did.
Moorman was the only player under par in day one of the Class 3-A Boys’ State Golf Tournament. While Moorman held a two-stroke lead after the first nine holes, his back nine was a bit more murky in the tight race for the state title.
He managed to pull it off, however.
“I was thinking the last four or five holes, man, I don’t know where I’m going to be. I was thinking I maybe needed to make some birdies coming in. You really shouldn’t be thinking about that, you should just stay within your game and play your game.”
It came right down to the final hole for Moorman. A bogey was all he needed to clinch his title.
He had to work for it, however. His shot off of the tee on hole 18 went into the left-side tree line. He punched it down to the side of the green and then chipped on and two-putted for that title clinching bogey.
That championship clinching putt was roughly six feet from the hole with a difficult lie on the inconsistently slopped green.
At the time, Moorman had no clue that particular putt was a must-make for an outright championship win. His cheering section, filled with family and friends, and led by his mother Amy Moorman, knew the implications exactly.
Moorman sank the putt as his followers held their breaths. He said after receiving his championship medal that as he made the putt, he didn’t think he was going to be the title winner. However, his mother’s cheer made him think again.
“I honestly was thinking I wouldn’t win,” Moorman said. “And then she let out a wail and I thought, well, maybe.”
Moorman beat West Delaware’s Clayton Larsen, a sophomore, by one stroke. The difference was the first day between the two. Moorman finished day one with a score of 70 while Larsen recorded a first-round score of 71. The two shot identical 73 rounds on the second day.
Moorman was already in an elite class coming into the weekend’s tournament, as the state believes he is the only freshman to win the state title. However, with his second career title, he becomes just the 14th golfer in state history to medal at the state meet twice. Out of that list, Moorman becomes the sixth golfer in state history to finish a state tournament as the medalist or runner-up medalist three times.
Next year, Moorman will be gunning to join an even more elite class, as only three golfers in state history are three-time state champions.
Not to be forgotten, the Big Reds finished in fifth place as a team, despite losing half of their scorers from last year’s team that took fourth place at the state meet.
“Our goal was to get here,” Centerville head coach Mike Carney said. “We shot 323 both days. We had some good golf. Once again, Alex, did what he does and played solid all the way through. Blake [Dabney] had a good first day, didn’t fall too far off the pace the second day.”
The top-four teams receive recognition as place winners at the state golf meet. Centerville missed that mark by five strokes.
This year’s team did not have a senior, so the Big Reds are in line to return their whole team next season, which Carney says makes him feel good about next season.
“But, that being said, there’s other teams up here that [don’t] have a senior on their team,” Carney said. “So, We’ve got to get out and play a lot of golf this summer and set some individual goals. There’s no reason we can’t come back next year and compete for the whole enchilada.”
Webster City and Clear Lake, who finished third and fourth, respectively, are the two teams who don’t have a senior on their squad this season that were at the meet.
After Moorman, Jacob Hargrave, Blake Dabney and freshman Colton Belloma rounded out Centerville’s top-four scores on day two. The Big Reds shot a total of 323 on both days.
Hargrave carded an 82 on the second day, recovering from the round of 91 he opened the tournament with on Friday.
Dabney’s round wasn’t without some thrills of it’s own on the second day. He began by receiving a penalty on the first hole for hitting the wrong ball. All told he managed to keep the bleeding low and only double-bogeyed the hole.
“I was there, we both looked at the ball,” Carney said. “It was out way in the rough on the left hand side. You couldn’t see a name or anything on the ball, but it looked like his. It’s as much my fault as it is his. We should have rolled the ball for proper identification and notified everybody, ‘Hey, I can’t see anything on this ball I’m going to double check and make sure it’s mine.’”
Centerville has been on pins and needles the past three weekends. The Big Reds were faced with tough sectional and district assignments, but fought their way to finish second at sectionals and third at districts to qualify the team to the state meet.
Class 3-A boys state golf meet
at Ames Golf and Country Club
Team scores — 1, West Delaware 301-320—621; 2, Creston/Orient-Macksburg 315-319—634; 3, Webster City 317-319—636; 4, Clear Lake 325-316—641; 5, Centerville 323-323—646; 6, Humboldt 329-330—659; 7, Central Clinton, DeWitt 330-336—666; 8, Ballard 334-341—675; 9, Williamsburg 336-344—680.
Top 10 individuals — 1, Alex Moorman (CV) 143; 2, Clayton Larsen (WD) 144; T3, Carson Whittington 147; T3, Kiley Miller (MTP) 147; 5, Dane Waldren (CL) 148; 6, Sam Sacquitne (DEC) 150; 7, Nick Higgins (FF) 151; 8, Harrison Guetzko (WD) 152; 9, Ross Martens (H) 153; 10, Evan Schuler (A) 155.
Centerville individuals — Moorman 34-36—70. Blake Dabney 37-42—79. Jacob Hargrave 44-47—91. Brad Irwin 47-43—90. Brett Kauzlarich 43-43—86. Colton Belloma 48-40—88.
Centerville individuals — Moorman 34-39—73. Dabney 42-41—83. Hargrave 38-44—82. Irwin 44-45—89. Kauzlarich 45-48—93. Belloma 41-44—85.