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O’Rourke leads Waldorf in William Penn Classic

OSKALOOSA – The Waldorf College men’s golf team placed seventh in the William Penn Classic, closing out the two-day tournament with 609 strokes on Monday.

Thomas O’Rourke competed as an individual and led the Warriors, tying for 14th with a 150 behind rounds of 74 and 76 in the 36-hole tournament on the par-70 layout at Edmundson Golf Course. It was the strongest showing of the fall season for the junior from Forest City.

“He’s been playing well and we were waiting for him to have a good tournament like that, so it was nice to see him come through,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said.

The top four scorers for the Warriors were separated by just four strokes and the final day of the tournament was dominated by winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour, which forced players to shore up their short games.

“We were consistent,” Clouse said. “The winds were blowing pretty hard, so it was a good mental challenge to make sure that you could stay with it for 18 holes.”

Freshman Kole Hallmark recorded Waldorf’s top team score as he tied for 17th with a 151-stroke total on rounds of 72 and 79.

Junior Hugo Becerra tied for 22nd with a 152 for the Warriors, shooting rounds of 79 and 73. Finishing 3-over on the windiest day of the tournament, he was under par on the final three holes and had just one miscue the entire round.

“Hugo definitely was right there playing extremely well,” Clouse said. “He hung in there and he’s competing for that individual title each and every tournament.”

Waldorf senior Austin Heeren tied for 28th with a 153, carding a 78 and 75.

“Austin really had a nice second round as well,” Clouse said.

Freshman Zabdiel Flores tied for 36th with a 155 to provide the final team score for the Warriors after rounds of 78 and 77.

Waldorf junior Chad Hein and senior Nick Boswell competed as individuals. Hein tied for 51st with a 161 on rounds of 78 and 83. Boswell tied for 60th with a 164 on rounds of 83 and 81. SeniorRick Young tied for 62nd with a 165 following rounds of 77 and 88.

William Penn University won the team title with 598 strokes, edging Central College’s Junior Varsity E Team (599) by just one stroke. Central’s JV B Team (601) and Dakota Wesleyan University (601) tied for third to place ahead of Central’s JV D Team (603), Central’s JV C Team (605), Waldorf (609), Dakota Wesleyan’s JV Team (610), William Penn’s JV A Team (623), William Penn’s JV B Team (625), Iowa Wesleyan University (629), Briar Cliff University (637) and Buena Vista University (652).

Central’s Nash Bucher was the individual champion, firing a 3-over score of 143. Central’s Brock Morris, William Penn’s Spencer Skipper and Dakota Wesleyan’s Michael Whitney tied for runner-up honors with 146-stroke totals. The tournament featured stiff competition with just five strokes separating the top 10 finishers.

“It was pretty tightly bunched, first through eighth place,” Clouse said. “Not many shots separated them, so it really did come down to the last few holes, literally.”

The Warriors conclude the fall season in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Preview Meet, opening the two-day tournament next Monday at 9 a.m. at Tournament Players Club (TPC) Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.

“It’ll be the strongest tournament of the year by far,” Clouse said. “If we want to be competitive, we have to bring our A-game because we’re going to see some of the best teams in the country.”