Golfers remain focused on strengths from season, next year’s goals after seventh place set back at State

As the men’s golf team team pulled up to the state course like other teams, they faced the bitter cold and the chilling wind, but unlike the other teams, they weren’t complaining. 

At the Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City, on Oct. 11 and 12, the two days of the men’s golf state meet, the lows were 32 degrees with rain and strong wind. 

“I was looking forward to it. Usually when it’s cold, we play good. We’re usually a strong cold team. We play better during worst conditions,” freshman Maxwell Tjoa said. 

“I think when other teams saw the conditions, a lot of complaining occurred, but coach didn’t let us complain about it,” junior Luke Meyer said. 

Similar weather occurred at the state meet last year and hindered the men’s chance at a state championship. This year the team expected the difficult conditions. “Leading up to it we were really trying to mentally prepare for those conditions,” junior Gus Ferguson said. “Our practice plans were prepared for those conditions the week leading up to it, so toward the end of the week we were feeling confident on how we would do at State and how we would play in those conditions.” 

The team came prepared skill-wise as well. For months the team had had the best scoring average in the state and some high-ranked players. The team also placed fourth last year in the state tournament. 

The team ended its first day in a good position to achieve its goal of becoming the state champions. “The weather really fueled me on the first day. I got off to a shaky start, but then I started to play well on a day where not many people played real well,” Meyer said. 

But things changed on the second day. The team’s playing didn’t go as planned, resulting in a seventh place finish for the team. “As a team our strategy was to not complain, to have endurance and to have patience. I think we had a lapse in one of those Saturday that lead to us falling,” Meyer said. 

Senior Jack Moody said they played uncharacteristically on Saturday. “Saturday just didn’t go our way really. Usually when someone has a bad round, the other three will pick up the slack like we saw earlier in the year, but that just didn’t really happen.” 

Although things weren’t going as planned, like meets before, the team stayed positive. “I don’t think any of us were down. I think we were confident that we could get it going again,” Moody said. 

Ferguson said he believes that the team, like all athletes, was just having an off day. 

“I think that every team has its off days, off nights, you know. I think we had really high expectations for ourselves, and when they started to not go our way, we tried to get it back on track, but we just couldn’t. Every athlete has those moments of motivation where they’re like, ‘This isn’t going to go the way we thought it was going to go.’” 

While the team placed seventh, the difference between first and seventh was only 10 shots. 

The state meet may have not gone as planned for the CFHS men’s golf team, but the team isn’t letting this tarnish its season. “It’s a bummer the way it ended, but I don’t think it changed the season we had,” Moody said. “It wasn’t even just the state tournament that was bad; it’s just the last day that didn’t really go well for us. We had a great season regardless. I don’t think it affects it that much.” 

The golfers returning next year are using this setback as fuel to work harder for next season. “I’ve already talked to some of the members on the team that will be returning next year. We’ve kind of decided that we are not going to let it happen again,” Ferguson said. “We’re going to prepare more on the off season, so that way once the season hits we can pick up right where we left off last year and only get better and better.” 

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