By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Monticello had lost to Starmont, East Buchanan and Cascade this season. The Panthers had hopes of avenging all three losses in the Tri-Rivers Conference Boys Golf Tournament April 29 at Pin Oak in Manchester.
They avenged two of them.
Zane Schlee of Starmont shot a 71 to win by 10 strikes, and the Stars pulled out a five-strike victory over Monticello, which finished second. Starmont had 330 points, Monticello had 335 and third place Cascade had 341.
“I thought we had a chance going in,” Monticello coach Curt Tauke said. “Our goal was to try to get by a couple of teams and maybe slide into first. I thought the kids played pretty well.”
Two freshmen, in particular, had a big day for the Panthers. Cody Menster shot an 81 to finish in a three-way tie for second place, and wound up fourth after a playoff. Jacob Bergman was another stroke back in fifth, with an 82.
Tim Norton came in with an 85, and Ben Bollwitt’s 87 rounded out Monticello’s scoring.
“All of our scores were 90 or better, so we showed good depth,” Tauke said.
The coach added that he was very impressed with Starmont’s Schlee.
“A 71 on that course is an outstanding score,” he said. “That was a huge deal for them.”
Two days later, the Panthers hosted their 17th annual Monticello Invitational, and a seven-team field was easily topped by Dyersville Beckman, which shot 303 to win by 18 strokes over Cascade. Monticello was third with a 328.
“Beckman just shot lights-out,” Tauke said. “They had four scores of 78 or better, and they were missing their third-best player.”
He added that Monticello played well, especially Tim Norton, whose 77 led the team and was good for sixth place overall in a strong field. That score included a 36 on the front nine.
Bollwitt added an 82, Bergman shot an 83 that included a 38 on the back nine, and Marcus Norton’s 88 was the fourth Panther score that counted.
“I thought we played strong,” Tauke said.
Austin Lynch of Cascade was meet medalist with a 72, winning by two strokes over Chance Maiers of Beckman.
The Panthers will host the Class 2A sectional meet Friday, May 10 at the Monticello Golf Club. Beckman will be one of the favorites, and Monticello could be battling Cascade for the second spot.
The top two teams advance to the district meet May 17 in Muscatine, unless host Monticello is one of those top two, in which case three teams advance.
Tri-Rivers Conf. Meet
(at Pin Oak, Manchester)
1, Starmont 330; 2, Monticello 335; 3, Cascade 341; 4, East Buchanan 344; 5, Edgewood-Colesburg 371; 6, Alburnett 375; 7, Maquoketa Valley 419; 8, North-Linn 426; 9, Springville 439; 10, Central City 455.
Cody Menster 44-37-81 (fourth place), Jacob Bergman 42-40-82 (fifth), Tim Norton 43-42-85, Ben Bollwitt 41-46-87, Marcus Norton 44-44-88, Sam Boyd 44-46-90.
TOP TEN FINISHERS
(• – won position in playoff)
1, Zane Schlee, Starmont, 71; 2, Austin Lynch*, Cascade, 81; 3, Michael Smith, Cascade, 81; 4, Cody Menster, Monticello, 81; 5, Jacob Bergman, Monticello, 82; 6, Blake Streicher*, Starmont, 83; 7, Kaleb Payne, Ed-Co, 83; 9, John Fawcett, East Buchanan, 83; 10, Jordan Schultz, East Buchanan, 84.
1, Dyersville Beckman 303; 2, Cascade 321; 3, Monticello 328; 4, North Cedar 335; 5, Marion 343; 6, Tipton 360; 7, Camanche 402.
Tim Norton 36-41-77 (sixth place), Ben Bollwitt 41-41-82, Jacob Bergman 45-38-83, Marcus Norton 43-43-86, Sam Boyd 44-44-88, Cody Menster 46-46-92.
PHOTO: Tim Norton putts for the Panthers in the Monticello Invitational May 1. (Photo by Pete Temple)