WEBSTER CITY -All of the stars appeared to be aligned, but it turned out to be nothing more than a mirage.

Playing on its home course, which was brutally tough thanks to the heavy rains that hit the area in recent days, the Webster City boys’ golf team should have had the upper hand in the race for the North Central Conference title yesterday at Briggs Woods Golf Course.

But a pulled drive here and a wonky iron there are all it takes to turn the tide.

The Lynx played well in spots, but too much inconsistency forced them to settle for the role of groomsman behind now four-time defending champion Clear Lake.

The Lions posted a 318 to sneak by WCHS (321) by three shots. Fort Dodge St. Edmond was well back in third with a 333, followed by Humboldt (336) and Clarion-Goldfield (342).

“It’s a little disappointing because we didn’t play as well as we should have,” WCHS head coach Dave Brighton said. “We did some things that we just normally don’t do.”

There’s no doubt that the course may have been the biggest winner. The par-72 track gritted its teeth and brought high winds and tough pin placements into play. Throw in the quagmire that was the back 9 – players were forced to shuffle through standing water on numerous holes – and it’s easy to see why only five players broke 80.

“It was a tough course. It was playing really long,” Brighton said.

Clear Lake and WCHS accounted for seven of the top 10 scores. But Clarion-Goldfield’s Trenton Sann stole the individual show with a 75 – good enough for a one-stroke victory over Fort Dodge St. Edmond’s Robert Flattery and the Lynx Logan Yates.

Flattery claimed the runner-up spot after besting Yates in a sudden-death playoff. Flattery parred the par-3 10th, but Yates was unable to get up and down from just off the green.

Yates got into position to contend for the top spot on the leaderboard by managing the course and staying away from the big number. He double-bogeyed his second hole of the day – the par-4, 400-yard ninth that played right into the teeth of the wind – but then put nothing worse than bogey on his card the rest of the round.

Yates made clutch putts for birdie at the par-4 second, par-5 fourth and par-5 11th holes.

“I was a little heated at the start of the round with that double, but I ended up rallying back in the middle of the round and made a couple of birdie putts down the stretch,” Yates said. “The wind definitely played a factor, but the rain softened everything up and I was able to control the ball around the greens.”

Soft conditions played right into the strengths of John Ferrell as well. He played a consistent round out of the No. 4 slot for the Lynx and shot an 80 to place sixth.

Ferrell strung together a team-high 10 pars.

“I tend to like to play on a wetter course because I can get the ball to stick into the greens better,” Ferrell said. “The round went well probably due to my irons … I hit a lot of greens in regulation.”

Alec Fuhs also reached all-conference status by placing ninth with an 81.

Avery Fuhs and Drew Fielder added 84s for WCHS, and Sean Vogelbacher posted an 86.

“We wanted to come in here on our home course and win this, so we’re a little down,” Yates said.

Brighton contends that the important rounds don’t officially begin until Friday when the Lynx will be in Boone for a 3A sectional meet at Cedar Pointe Golf Course.

“This isn’t the ultimate thing,” he said. “That comes Friday and we have to be ready to go.”