G-R senior Smoldt cards runner-up finish at state
PANORA – Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior Jacob Smoldt didn’t have any expectations this weekend at the Boys State Golf Tournament.
He came to Lake Panorama National Golf Course to play golf and see what happened. And what happened was something the Rebel veteran never could have imagined.
Smoldt improved on his day-one score by four strokes Saturday, firing an eight-over 80, and wound up as the runner-up in the Class 1A field.
His two-day total equalled a 164, which was six strokes back of state champion Ty Hanna of Sibley-Ocheyedan.
“I really didn’t have any expectations coming into the weekend,” said Smoldt. “I just came here to golf and was fortunate to put it together at the right time.
“I never could have imagined getting second place at state. That is something I never thought would happen.”
The second 18 holes began with an one-hour delay. Rain and wind dominated the first nine holes, but once the skies cleared up, it turned out to be a solid day. And the scores reflected that.
Hanna came into Saturday tied for second with a first-round 83. He was on top of his game on the final day though, carding a three-over 75 and finishing with a 158.
Smoldt distanced the New London duo of Tristan Kadel and Hagin Gillis, who along with Erick Rock of Oakland Riverside and Grant Juber of Sibley-Ocheyedan, turned in 168s.
Sibley-Ocheyedan had three golfers in the top eight to win the team title going away. The Generals improved their round one score (344) by 15 strokes Saturday and finished with a 673.
New London ended up as the runner-up with a 706, while West Lyon carded a 723 and Winfield-Mt. Union had a 724. Dunkerton was fifth with a 739, Grundy Center moved up to sixth with a 749 and Oakland Riverside (756) and Boyer Valley (760) rounded out the team standings.
Grundy Center coach Dennis Dirks said his squad was not happy with its performance after Friday’s opening round. The Spartans were eager to improve upon their 387 and did so with a 362 in round two.
Leading the way for Grundy Center was Elliott Eggleston, who turned in a 91 on Saturday and a 184 for the two rounds. Lane Bangasser fired a 90 in round two and was two shots back of Eggleston, while Ryon Appel had the best second-round score among the Spartans with an 89.
Appel carded a 191 overall, and Sam Thompson had a 193 after his second-round 92.
Nathan Graham (199) and Nick Saak (200) also played for the Spartans but their scores did not count in the team standings.
Smoldt improved his “punch outs” Saturday and made a few more putts than he did on Friday. That played a role in lowering his second-round score by four strokes. Smoldt also recorded a birdie on No. 12 for the second straight day.
“He played really well today and was in the fairway more,” G-R coach Chad Bixby said. “It was breezy and chilly all day and rained some, but he battled through it.”
First-round leader Jordan Kubitz of Dunkerton struggled in round two. He fired an 82 on Friday but carded a 92 Saturday and finished in ninth with a 174. … Grundy Center had the best improvement (25 shots) and was one of five squads to better its overall team score Saturday. Winfield-Mt. Union shaved off 20 strokes on day two. … Bixby said Smoldt’s runner-up finish was the best in school history. Austin Peters was third in Class 2A in 2005 and the Rebels won the team championship back in 1999 as well. … Waterloo Columbus Catholic’s Jack Conway claimed the individual championship in Class 2A, shooting a 150 and winning by two strokes over Des Moines Christian’s Ryan Minor at Spring Valley Golf Course in Livermore. Columbus Catholic also won the team title with a 632. PCM was second with a 347 and South Hamilton finished third with a 657. … The Class 3A champion was Creston/Orient-Macksburg’s Carson Whittington, who went 80-75 for a 155 at Ames Golf and Country Club. Whittington bested three golfers – Alex Moorman of Centerville, Dane Waldron of Clear Lake and Michael Peter of Decorah – by one stroke. Creston/Orient-Macksburg also won the team title with a 647. Decorah was second at 650 and Clear Lake took third with a 653. Clear Lake led after round one by three strokes over Creston/Orient-Macksburg.