WEBSTER CITY - Mark Ullestad doesn't hide from his true goal: He wants to hoist a Class 2A state championship trophy into the air this spring.
Is it possible? When his South Hamilton boys' golf team is piping drives down the middle of the fairway and firing at pins, you bet it's possible. But when several golfers dip for a hole or two, well, golf can be very unforgiving.
Ullestad, the Hawks' coach, knows it will take a team, not an individual or two, to reach the mountaintop, and he also thinks he's got the group to get the job done.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
South Hamilton sophomore Trevor Ullestad, the Hawks’ No. 1 golfer, watches his birdie putt with anticipation as it treks towards the cup at the par-4 fifth hole at Briggs Woods Golf Course yesterday. The putt stayed a foot short and he tapped in for par on his way to a runner-up medalist score of 77 at the Lynx Invite. Clear Lake’s Luke Monson was the medalist with a 76, and the Lions claimed the team title while South Hamilton settled for second.
That's precisely why second place at yesterday's Lynx Invitational just isn't good enough.
South Hamilton was good, but not great in Ullestad's opinion on a blustery day at Briggs Woods Golf Course. The result was a team total of 327 to take runner-up honors behind North Central Conference champion and perennial 3A power Clear Lake, which claimed the tournament title with a 323. The Lions' scoring five all shot 85 or better.
"I'm probably neutral on how we played at this point," Ullestad said. "Our expectations are high ... we want to win a state title, and I guess our team score is OK, but I am a little disappointed."
At Briggs Woods Golf Course
1. Clear Lake 323; 2. South Hamilton 327; 3. Humboldt 337; 4. Ballard 355; 5. Forest City 359; 6. Fort Dodge St. Edmond 363; 7. Webster City 373.
1. Luke Monson (CL) 39-37-76; 2. Trevor Ullestad (SH) 39-38-77; 3. (tie) Braxton Risetter (SH) 38-39-77, Dane Waldron (CL) 40-37-77; 5. Joe Dakken (FC) 39-39-78.
South Hamilton Scores
Trevor Ullestad 39-38-77, Braxton Risetter 38-39-77, Austin Heeren 44-40-84, Max McGonigle 43-46-89, Jordan Bowers 50-43-93, Jacob Haugland 44-53-97.
Webster City Scores
Karter Lenning 46-60-106, Doug Stoakes 45-52-97, Logan Yates 42-43-85, John Ferrell 47-49-96, Brandon Carlson 53-43-96, Jake Daniels 47-49-96.
Humboldt was third with a 337, followed by Ballard (355), Forest City (359) and Fort Dodge St. Edmond (363). Host Webster City (370) struggled in the conditions and finished at the back of the seven-team field.
South Hamilton played its second straight tournament without senior Jordan Sogard, a two-time Heart of Iowa Conference champion and the Hawks' top finisher at last year's state meet that brought the team a third-place result.
Sophomores Trevor Ullestad and Braxton Risetter continued to surge in their teammate's absence though, as they both shot rounds of 5-over par 77 - the second-best scores on the rolling, tree-filled terrain. Trevor Ullestad, who was stronger on the narrower back 9 with a 38 compared to a 39 on the wide open front, claimed the runner-up medalist honor on a cardback.
Trevor Ullestad's round featured birdies on two of the four par-5s - the 442-yard fourth and the 464-yard 12th.
Risetter shot a 38 on the front, a 39 on the back. He also birdied the 12th after reaching the green with an iron on his second shot.
"Trevor and Braxton are playing well," Mark Ullestad said. "They don't really have weaknesses right now. They can hit it long and their short games are good, and they're a nice one-two punch. The good thing is we have them for two more years."
Austin Heeren fired an 84 (44-40) and Max McGonigle posted an 89 (43-46) to round out South Hamilton's scoring.
"We just need to get that consistency in our lineup," Mark Ullestad said. "We're just scratching the iceberg right now. We've got two guys playing pretty salty, so now we just need to get it loaded up and get more consistency through the rest of our lineup."
Clear Lake's Luke Monson sat atop the leaderboard with a 76. He overcame a double-bogey on his first hole - the 517-yard, par-5 first - by recording back-to-back birdies at the par-3 third and fourth.
The Lions also received a 77 from Dane Waldron. Joe Dakken of Forest City was the only other player in the field to shoot in the 70s; he had a 78.
A day after it shot a season-best 328 at the NCC meet, Webster City came back down to Earth, but head coach Dave Brighton knows his youthful squad can regain its momentum before 3A sectional play at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames on Friday.
" After a really outstanding day (on Monday), we had a letdown," Brighton said. "Our youth showed, but I have confidence that we will bounce back."
Freshman Logan Yates was the only Lynx player to break 90; his 85 tied for 11th with three other players.
John Ferrell, Brandon Carlson and Jake Daniels all carded rounds of 96 at the back of the Lynx lineup.
South Hamilton will begin its trek towards what it hopes will be a second straight appearance in the state meet on Friday at a sectional meet at Cedar Pointe Golf Course in Boone.