ANKENY — Course conditions remained difficult at a swampy Otter Creek Golf Course on Wednesday as Centerville took home 10th place with a score of 816.
It ended up being a long day for the Redettes as they needed to finish the last couple of holes from their first round after ended prematurely due to another storm. After finishing their first rounds, the girls rolled right into their next round, playing another 18 holes right afterwards.
“It was wild with the weather and the delays and sometimes that doesn’t always work in our favor,” Centerville head coach Matt Kovacevich said. “But I’m so proud and happy we got a chance to come up here. I’m happy for the girls and their parents that they had an opportunity to come here and play at a state venue again. I know we didn’t play our best throughout here but either way we are here. We are one of the top 10 teams in the state of Iowa in Class 3A out of 100 schools so we’ll take that any day of the week.”
Wednesday morning was chilly and foggy as the girls prepared for a long day of golf. The course was soaked from the multiple storms, which provided its own challenges. It didn’t fully rain on day two like it did on day one but a drizzle every once in a while kept everyone on their toes.
Every shot had to be carefully planned and executed as the greens were very slow and the wet grass forced players to have to try to club up. There were a couple of cases where it took girls three or four shots just to get it out of the long grass.
The addition of playing more than 18 holes in those conditions had to take a toll on the Redettes.
“A lot of that becomes mental for our girls. That probably had something to do with it knowing they were going to have play more than 18 holes. I thought we were down the last hour of play. We were probably mentally and physically really wore out at that time,” Kovacevich said.
Junior Taylor Shinn would lead the way for Centerville, improving her first round score by 11 shots with a second-round card of 91 to finish 31st individually.
“Even after the round got over, Taylor said she left several shots out there. Taylor has come a long way since her freshman year in golf. I think this is going to springboard her to a great senior year next year. She’s already talking about trying to get out and play more so she’s going to get the opportunity to come back here next year,” Kovacevich said.
Senior Elizabeth Meng nabbed a birdie on the par-3 13th on day one but would struggle on both days to finish with scores of 99 and 103 to finish 38th. Meng was making her fourth straight appearance at the state tournament and with the course playing long with the wet conditions, it played against her and her teammates’ strengths.
“This course with the rain and the wet conditions made it really long and that doesn’t play to our strengths. We’re not a long hitting team and when you don’t have a long hitter that can eat up yardage on a course like this, you’re going to be trying to get up and down for pars and bogeys all day and those are tough in these conditions,” Kovacevich said.
Junior Elizabeth Zintz carded scores of 106 and 101 in her first taste of state golf and gave Kovacevich some confidence in his top two returning golfers for next year.
“Our top two scorers today were two juniors so that kind of makes us happy for next year,” Kovacevich said. “We’re excited about next year but at the same time, when you’ve won like we have, we just go to the next year and try to replenish and get some more golfers in there and try to have an opportunity to start with a conference championship and get back here for another state tournament.”
Chloe Zintz, also competing at state for the first time as a senior, brought in rounds of 106 and 110 at the tournament.
Senior Brinley Kauzlarich was back after winning the deciding tiebreaker at last year’s tournament to give Centerville sixth. This year she would submit rounds of 113 and 108.
Senior Hannah Bailey returned for her third trip to the state tournament and would finish with rounds of 112 and 117 to round out Centerville’s lineup.
Centerville will graduate four of their top six golfers in Meng, Bailey, Kauzlarich and Chloe Zintz.
“They are four seniors that will be solely missed not just because they are good golfers, but they’re great girls. Their attitudes were awesome this year. I thought our team chemistry was the best it’s ever been in the last four or five years and they have a lot to do with that,” Kovacevich said.
The Redettes made their fourth straight appearance at the girls state golf tournament and now have third, four, sixth and 10th place finishes as a team and will get to add another piece of hardware to the trophy case.
Dubuque Wahlert claimed the team title with a score of 653. Gilbert’s Britta Snyder ran away with the individual title finishing 7-under par and 15 shots ahead of second place. Snyder had a bogey-free second round with an eagle on the par-5 third on her way to a 65.
1. Dubuque Wahlert (653); 2. Humboldt (701); 3. CR Xavier (720); 4. Gilbert (731); 5. Grinnell (732); 6. Washington (750); 7. Atlantic (762); 8. Carroll (768); 9. Central DeWitt (795); 10. Centerville (816)
31. Taylor Shinn (102-91-193); 38. Elizabeth Meng (99-103-202); 47. Elizabeth Zintz (106-101-207); 55. Chloe Zintz (106-110-216); 59. Brinley Kauzlarich (113-108-221); 62. Hannah Bailey (112-117-229)