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Warriors earn second in Iowa Lakes Spring Invitational

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Aaron Schneider

PANORA – Strong contributions led the Waldorf University men’s golf team to second place in the Iowa Lakes Spring Invitational.

The Warriors wrapped up the two-day tournament with a 613-stroke total on Monday.

“It was a really solid couple of days,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. “We’re starting to peak at the right time, and we’re having some very consistent play right now.”

Hugo Becerra led the Warriors, tying for fifth with a 36-hole score of 149 behind rounds of 74 and 75 on the par-72 layout at Lake Panorama National Golf Course. Becerra is hitting his stride with just one competition remaining before the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Championships. The junior from Ocotlan, Mexico is tied for first place heading into the spring portion of the conference tournament.

“We’re feeling really good about where he’s at with his game,” Clouse said. “I fully expect him to continue playing well. It was nice to see that over two days. We’ve got a few more days to prepare before the conference tournament, but he’s doing quite well.”

Waldorf’s Austin Heeren tied for seventh, providing a 151 on rounds of 77 and 74.

“It was good to see Austin come through with two really good days of play,” Clouse said. “In his senior season, we’re looking for him to finish off well, and he’s doing that right now.”

Senior Rick Young took a share of 19th for the Warriors after carding a 156-stroke total behind rounds of 79 and 77. Junior Thomas O’Rourke tied for 22nd, shooting a 157 on rounds of 76 and 81. Freshman Kole Hallmark finished 30th with a 161 on rounds of 79 and 82.

The Warriors displayed depth as the four individuals contributing to the team score were separated by eight strokes.

“We need that consistency,” Clouse said. “I’d like to see lower fourth and fifth scores. If we can do that, we’re going to be under 300, which is a really good score.”

Waldorf freshman Zabdiel Flores, senior Nick Boswell and junior Chad Hein competed as individuals.

Flores tied for 42nd, recording a 168 while turning in rounds of 81 and 87. Boswell tied for 47th as he put together a 171 on rounds of 86 and 85. Hein placed 56th with a 177 behind rounds of 84 and 93.

The Warriors faced six ranked National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II opponents.

Fourth-ranked Kirkwood Community College brought home the team championship, closing out the tournament with a 589-stroke total. Kirkwood’s Louis Flynn captured the individual title after breaking even with a 144. The Eagles grabbed the top three spots in the field as Carson Whittington took second with a 146 to finish one stroke ahead of teammate Charlie Hartwig.

Waldorf (613) finished five strokes ahead of No. 9 Iowa Central Community College (618) and No. 6 Iowa Lakes Community College (618) as the Tritons and Lakers ended in a third-place tie. Twelfth-ranked Des Moines Area Community College (625) took fifth to place ahead of No. 15 Northeast Community (625), NCAA Division III’s Buena Vista University (658), No. 17 North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) (667), Southwestern Community  College (673), Ellsworth Community College (733) and Hawkeye Community College (736).

The Warriors compete in Thursday’s NIACC Spring Invitational at Mason City, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Waldorf placed third in the NIACC Fall Invitational and looks to shore up further success during its return to the Mason City Country Club.

“We’ve got a couple more days of practice,” Clouse said. “We played very well there in the fall, and I know they’re looking forward to getting back to Mason City and trying to repeat how we did in the fall.”