GIRLS STATE GOLF: Spartans claim first-round lead

There’s no trophy awarded to the round one leader.

Though that doesn’t make the opening day any less important.

With 11 state championships under his belt, Grundy Center coach Rick Schupbach knows full well the importance of a strong start – especially in the way of a rough finish.

Overcoming a tough patch to close the afternoon, the Grundy Center girls golf team tallied a 357 to earn a four-stroke edge over defending champion Bishop Garrigan on the first day of the Class 1A Iowa Girls State Golf Tournament at the American Legion Golf Course Tuesday.

Valley is six strokes off the front in third (363) after “Position Day” as Schupbach likes to call it.

“On day one you don’t win it, you position yourself,” said Schupbach, whose squad finished runner-up last season.

“We’re in position to compete for a state championship. What more could anyone want as an athlete?”

Bishop Garrigan’s Alexa Capesius set the pace with an 8-over 79 on the 5,273-yard course – finishing four strokes ahead of Grundy Center’s Hillary Samo and Valley’s Jodi Schott. Capesius claimed fourth at state last season, while Schott tallied 10th.

The final round of action gets underway today at 9 a.m.

The Spartans’ Josie McMartin and Baylie Wrage turned in a 98 to complete the leading team’s score. Though Schupbach noted his squad let a couple opportunities slip away.

McMartin closed her day with a quadruple-bogey on hole No. 1 – including a one-stroke penalty for a double chip.

And four Spartans hit the par-3 143-yard No. 18 green or were on the fringe, though the quartet amassed a score of 6-over par on the hole.

“We had a little bit of a missed opportunity today, but if you look at it – we’re in first place,” Schupbach said. “If we can shore those things up we’ll be fine.”

The course itself needed to be shored up after more than six inches of rain fell Sunday in Marshalltown followed by another solid downpour Monday.

While several sizable pools still remained in areas between holes, Schupbach credited the work of the American Legion staff in having the course ready for state tournament play.

“(The course conditions) were a non-factor,” Schupbach said.

“I’m so impressed that they could actually have us out here to play with all the rain. They did a wonderful job.”

Pleasantville sits in fourth at 382, leading a quintet of squads that have plenty of ground to make up. New London is fifth (387), while Gehlen Catholic (393), HLV (409) and Corning (463) round out the field.

Placing four in the top-14, Alta-Aurelia set itself in prime position for a Class 2A team title with a 24-stroke cushion after 18 holes. The Cyclones recorded a 339, while Nashua Plainfield (363) and Dike-New Hartford (365) complete the top three.

Just two strokes separate Audubon (375), Emmetsburg (376) and Sumner-Fredericksburg (377) as Central Decatur (389) and North-Linn (419) anchor the eight-team field.

Nashua-Plainfield’s Sarah McMichael carded an 8-over 79 to hold a one-stroke edge over Briana Weber of Dike- New Hartford, Alex Mankle of Okoboji and Missouri Valley’s Taylor Gardner. Weber was fourth a year ago, while Mankle finished eighth in 2012.

Alta-Aurelia’s foursome of Jenna Snyder (82), Lexie Patton (84), Kelsi Snyder (86) and Erica Lockin (87) have the Cyclones looking to improve upon last season’s fourth place finish.

“We were just consistent,” Alta-Aurelia coach LeAnn Patton said. “Each girl did very well at her own game and we didn’t have any big holes. We just need to keep playing our own game.”


Tuesday’s tee-time was moved back three hours to noon due to the soggy conditions Along with the Cyclones, Dike-New Hartford is the only other Class 2A returnee after taking fifth a year ago Five teams are back in the Class 1A field including defending champion Bishop Garrigan, runner-up Grundy Center as well as HLV (3rd), Gehlen Catholic (5th) and Valley (6th) Josie McMartin was 7th for the Spartans last year as Grundy Center returns five of its top six from 2012.