May 18, 2022

Newton boys golf advances to district tournament

Cardinals take third at Knoxville sectional

KNOXVILLE — Midway through the Class 3A sectional golf tournament at Pine Knolls Golf Club, Newton head boys golf coach Pat Riley didn’t have a good feeling about his team’s chances to advance.

But the Cardinals buckled down, improved on their second nine scores and found a way into the top three on Wednesday.

Ethan Walker finished in a tie for second and finished third overall with a 5-over-par 75 and two other Cardinals shot 81 or less to lead Newton to a third-place finish.

The Cardinals shot a 326 and edged Clarke by four strokes. Knoxville won the tournament with a 312 and Winterset fired a 316 in second.

The top two teams advance to districts unless the host school is in the top two. Then the third-place team also advances.

“I am really proud of our guys today. They came out, knowing it was going to be tough, and took care of business,” Riley said.

Knoxville put three golfers in the top six and Winterset placed four in the first 14 positions.

But Newton had three in the top 10 as Lincoln Ergenbright shot an 80 and Kinnick Pritchard fired an 81. Ergenbright was eighth and Pritchard finished 10th.

“Walker, Ergenbright and Pritchard were huge for us,” Riley said. “Three scores under 81 is the reason we advanced.”

Bondurant-Farrar came into sectionals with the third best 18-hole average but finished fifth with a 335. The rest of the eight-team field included Carlisle (374), Creston (426) and Saydel (465).

Newton’s final counting score was Brennan Amos’ 90. Braydon Chance carded a non-counting 92 and Conner Brain turned in a non-counting 100.

Walker had a three-stroke improvement on his second nine than his first. He had splits of 39-36. Ergenbright went 39-41 and Pritchard was 40-41.

Amos (46-44), Chance (48-44) and Brain (52-48) all were better on their second nine holes.

“Amos and Chance both had tough front nines but neither one quit,” Riley said. “That’s what I love about these guys. No matter how bad they start, they always grind it out. Conner hit the ball well. He just struggled putting. He could have shot high 80s with a better day on the greens.

“All in all, it was a good day for the Cardinal Golf Nation.”

The Cardinals’ 3A district tournament takes place at Bos Landen Golf Course at 10 a.m. on Monday in Pella.