WEBSTER CITY - It's no secret that the past five years have been anything but kind to the Webster City boys' golf program.
But it's safe to say it now: The Dark Ages have officially past.
A doormat on the central Iowa team circuit in recent years, an influx of youth and talent have propelled the Lynx back into the thick of tournament-title chases.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
WCHS freshman Alec Fuhs rips a drive off the 12th tee as South Hamilton senior Jacob Haugland watches in the background during yesterday’s Lynx Invitational at Briggs Woods Golf Course. Fuhs was the tournament runner-up with a 74.
And yesterday they reached the mountaintop.
With twin brothers Alec and Avery Fuhs turning in their best 18-hole cards, Webster City slayed a bevy of highly ranked teams to win its own Lynx Invitational at the 3,175-yard, par-72 Briggs Woods Golf Course.
WCHS, ranked No. 9 (Class 3A) by the Iowa High School Golf Coaches Association, posted a 312 to nip No. 5 (3A) and reigning North Central Conference champion Clear Lake (314) by two strokes. Sixth-ranked (2A) Fort Dodge St. Edmond (315) was third.
At Briggs Woods Golf Course
1. Webster City 312; 2. Clear Lake 314; 3. Fort Dodge St. Edmond 315; 4. South Hamilton 319; 5. Humboldt 324; 6. Ballard 329.
Individual Top 5
1. Eddie Doyle (SE) 70; 2. Alec Fuhs (WC) 74; 3. Trevor Ullestad (SH) 74; 4. Braxton Risetter (SH) 74; 5. Tommy Schick (CL) 75.
Webster City Scores
Alec Fuhs 74, Avery Fuhs 76, Logan Yates 78, John Ferrell 84, Sean Vogelbacher 94, Doug Stoakes 97.
South Hamilton Scores
Trevor Ullestad 74, Braxton Risetter 74, Jacob Haugland 83, Jordan Toillion 88, Jordan Bowers 92, Lucas Fisher 94.
"The guys played outstanding," WCHS head coach Dave Brighton said after all of the scores had been posted. "(Winning) is very important to us because we can measure ourselves against the very best teams in the state. We played to our potential and I think there's even more to squeeze out of our scores."
Fourth-ranked (2A) South Hamilton - arguably the hottest team in its class over the past two weeks on the heels of taking the Heart of Iowa Conference title - posted a 319 to finish in fourth. Humboldt - the highest ranking team in the field at No. 3 (3A) - was all the way back in fifth with a 324.
"Every time we break 320, I guess that's a pretty good night," South Hamilton head coach Mark Ullestad said. "But we need to be consistent one though six and (yesterday) we weren't."
Identical in nearly every way, Alec and Avery Fuhs stayed close throughout the tournament. Alec birdied the two par-5s on the front - Nos. 1 and 4 - and strung together 12 pars for a runner-up medalist round of 74. Avery birdied No. 1 and No. 11 - another par-5 - en route to a 76.
Avery reached the front of the green in two at the 456-yard 11th and watched his 30-foot putt for eagle fall two revolutions short.
"The Fuhs boys always seem to be within a stroke or two of one another," Brighton said. "This is exactly where I expected them to be. So it's not a surprise for me and it's not a surprise for them either.
"I didn't really see Alec much, but he was real consistent. His 38 on the back is a very good score."
Logan Yates gave the Lynx a third player in the 70s with a 78. He was 1-over after the front nine and in contention for the individual title, but fell of the pace on the tighter back.
John Ferrell's 84 brought the team crown to the WCHS camp.
South Hamilton juniors Trevor Ullestad and Braxton Risetter both shot 74 and finished third and fourth, respectively, on card backs. But their rounds couldn't have been more different.
Ullestad sprayed shots on the front - he went out of bounds and took a double-bogey on the easy fourth hole - and went out in 41. He took out his frustration on the back though with a 3-under 33 that included birdies on the two par-5s - Nos. 11 and 12 - and the par-4 18th.
Risetter went the consistent route; he also birdied Nos. 11 and 12 - his first two holes of the day - and fired matching 37s on the front and back.
"They both hit the ball well," Mark Ullestad said of his top two players. "Braxton didn't make many mistakes all day."
Jacob Haugland (83) and Jordan Toillion (88) completed the Hawks' team score.
South Hamilton played the usually more difficult back nine 13 strokes better than the front.
St. Edmond's Eddie Doyle blitzed the course with a 2-under 70 to sit atop the leaderboard. His round took off on the 442-yard par-4 fifth hole, as he drained a 40-foot putt up a steep slope for birdie. He added three more birdies on the back nine.
WCHS and South Hamilton will now begin preparations for Friday's postseason and the start of the journey towards the state tournament.
The Lynx will be in Boone for a 3A sectional meet at Cedar Pointe Golf Club. Play will get underway at 9 a.m.
"We're right where we need to be going into (the sectional)," Brighton said. "It's exciting for the kids and it's exciting for me also."
The Hawks will be at Clarmond Country Club on the outskirts of Clarion for a 2A sectional. It will start at 9:30 a.m.
"Consistency is what we'll work on between now and Friday," Mark Ullestad said.