PANORA - Rankings can be tricky: Sometimes they add confidence and other times they bring about a negative result.
You can go ahead and pencil in the South Hamilton boys' golf team into the former category, not the latter.
A day after sliding into the No. 5-ranked spot (Class 2A) in the opening poll of the season released by the Iowa High School Golf Coaches Association, the Hawks backed up the praise on Saturday by winning the Panorama Invitational at the always treacherous Lake Panorama National Golf Course.
South Hamilton placed three golfers in the top five on the individual leaderboard, shot an 18-hole total of 311 and cruised to an 18-stroke advantage over runner-up Des Moines Christian (329). Panorama (339) was third, followed by Guthrie Center (355). IKM-Manning and Earlham (380) tied for fifth.
"Most of the kids hit the ball really well and 311s are going to get us someplace, that's for sure," South Hamilton head coach Mark Ullestad said, noting the tournament had a one-hour delay because of frost on the course. "The greens are bigger than we're used to, so we had some three-putts and some penalty strokes, but that's not the easiest course in the world either."
Junior Braxton Risetter one-upped classmate and teammate Trevor Ullestad by one shot to take the medalist accolade. Risetter had two birdies on the front nine en route to an even-par 36, and he finished with a 3-over 75 on the par-72 terrain. Ullestad walked off the course with a 76.
Lake Panorama National Resort
1. South Hamilton 311; 2. Des Moines Christian 329; 3. Panorama 339; 4. Guthrie Center 355; 5. (tie) IKM-Manning and Earlham 380; 7. Panorama JV 397; 8. Dallas Center-Grimes 408; 9. Audubon 422; 10. Adair-Casey 489; Madrid, West Central Valley and Ankeny Christian NTS.
Individual Top 5
1.Braxton Risetter (SH) 75; 2. Trevor Ullestad (SH) 76; 3. Ryan Minor (DMC) 76; 4. Chris Sturdivant (DMC) 76; 5. Jordan Bowers (SH) 78.
Other South Hamilton Scores
Jacob Haugland 82, Jordan Toillion 84, Lucas Fisher 95.
"Braxton got out of the gates good and he took advantage on some of the holes on the front, which I think is the easier of the two nines," Mark Ullestad said. "He played pretty solid all day."
Jordan Bowers gave the Hawks a third player in the 70s; he shot a 78.
"If we can get a 78 out of Jordan Bowers, who is our No. 4 golfer, that's huge," Mark Ullestad said. "If we can keep getting that then we can be better than we were last year and that's our goal."
Jacob Haugland's 82 completed the Hawks scoring. Teammate Jordan Toillion was only two shots back with an 84.
South Hamilton will return home today to take on Fort Dodge St. Edmond and Saydel at 4 p.m. at the Jewell Golf and Country Club.