Boys State Golf Meets begin today for all classes, with the 2A field including PCM and the 3A field featuring Pella High.
In 3A, the Little Dutch are the No. 3-ranked team in the State, trailing only top-ranked Decorah and No. 2 Creston, who was upset in the District meet and did not qualify as a team. Pella also boasts the top-ranked individual golfer in the state in Lucas Boyd. The senior leads his team into the meet having finished in a three-way tie for first place as an individual a season ago.
While Boyd represents experience, the rest of the team is primarily comprised of talented underclassmen. Freshman Colton Bradley says he’ll try and blend putting together a focused first round while also enjoying the experience.
“I’ve had rounds in the past where I’ve shot really well on the first nine and blown it on the second, but I just need to make sure I keep focused and just have fun out there,” said Bradley.
Fellow freshman Corey Elliott echoes that sentiment, acknowledging that the ultimate goal is in sight if the entire team maintains their concentration.
“We have to play more consistent and put up two good rounds – not just one and think we’re going to win it,” said Elliott. “You’ve got to put up two good rounds in the tournament, and I think we can be State Champions if we all play to the best of our abilities.”
The Little Dutch are competing at the Ames Golf and Country Club in a field that includes a total of ten teams and 63 golfers.
The PCM boys have also positioned themselves for success, having garnered the No. 2 ranking in Class 2A after a dominant season. Only perennial powerhouse Waterloo Columbus is ahead of the Mustangs, who will also have to contend with three-time defending champion Carroll Kuemper, who is ranked No. 3. PCM also boasts a top-ranked individual, as Hunter Van Veen leads his team into the tournament a year after finishing in the top ten at the State Meet as an individual. Van Veen says last year’s experience should prove valuable this time around.
“You know some of the holes, you know where to go, and some of the holes you don’t want to go long,” said Van Veen. “I made the mistake last year of going long a couple times, so I’ve got to tell myself not to do that this year and hopefully it’ll be better.”
The Mustangs are much more than just Van Veen, though, as they boast five golfers ranked in the top 45 individually in Class 2A. One of those golfers is Hunter’s cousin – and the team’s lone senior – Logan Van Veen, who says reaching the State Meet is the opportunity of a lifetime.
“It’s one of those things you’re going to remember for the rest of your life,” said Logan Van Veen. “There’s not much that can compare to it. Being able to go to the State Tournament and being with your friends just makes it that much better. It’s really something special.”
PCM and the rest of the Class 2A field will be playing at the Spring Valley Golf Course, located near Livermore in the north central part of the state. Both meets tee off at noon today, with the second round of the 36-hole tournament starting at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning.