Kourtne Smith and Paige Van Dyk enjoyed the warm sunlight and home golf course Monday afternoon as they led the South Tama girls to its fourth-consecutive victory.
The South Tama senior and sophomore golf duo finished first and third individually, as East Marshall's Chantel Eicher placed second. As a team, the Trojans easily won the meet, scoring a 170 with their top four golfers, while East Marshall scored 215.
"That's a wonderful score for us," head coach Kelle Boles said. "For our course, it's wonderful. The weather was wonderful. Let's hope it continues, but I think it's going to change by the end of this week."
South Tama senior Jenn Maus prepares to tee off from hole No. 2 Tuesday during the Trojan's home meet. Maus shot a 47 to help the STC girls cruise to an easy victory over East Marshall.
Van Dyk shot a 38 on the nine-hole course to edge out Eicher by one stroke and Smith by two strokes. Van Dyk shot par on the opening hole, a par 3, then rattled off six-consecutive fours on the next six holes. That stretch included two bogeys and one birdie.
"I started off really good," Van Dyk said. "A couple holes really hurt me, but other than that, I played well, until holes seven and eight. Then I couldn't putt."
She rallied after a double bogey on hole No. 8 to par the final hole, a par four.
"It made me feel better to finish with a par," Van Dyk said. "My putting hurt me a little bit. I was expecting to do a little better here at home."
Boles was proud of her sophomore Tuesday.
"She's hitting the ball well and placing it well," Boles said. "She's not getting herself into trouble. I think she only had one three-putt and that was a bogey. She played straight down the middle."
Meanwhile, Smith consistently found herself shooting par or bogeys all round. She didn't shoot any birdies, but didn't double bogey any hole either as she shot a 40.
"That was my best round yet," Smith said. "It felt really good. I got some new clubs and I putted well. I played with my new clubs at Benton and shot my best round of 18 and then I shot my best round of nine here. It also helps that I know this course by heart."
Smith's round of 40 helped the Trojans' team score as senior Taylor Van Dyk had a day she might like to forget. Taylor Van Dyk and her sister are usually dead even or very close to each other's scores, but that wasn't the case Tuesday. The older sister shot a 45.
"The thing is that's what a team is all about," Boles said. "When one player has a bad day, there's always one to back them up. Kourtne was there with a 40 and played her best round ever. That's awesome. She putted tremendously well today."
Senior Jenn Maus was the fourth-lowest STC player on the day. She shot a 47, which was the fifth-lowest total of any girls golfing. Her coach had seen Maus shoot rounds like this in practice, but Tuesday was the first time it happened in a meet.
"In practice rounds, Jenn is shooting 47s, but we haven't seen it in a meet," Boles said. "Of course, this was our first meet at home. She shot a 47 today and I was thrilled for her."
On the boys' side, East Marshall nipped South Tama on the team scores. East Marshall scored 196, while the Trojans shot a 198. It marked the second time in eight days where the Trojans lost a narrow home meet.
"I thought the home course would help more," coach Nathan Doran said. "It kind of slipped a bit today, especially our varsity guys. It's still great to come out here on our home course and play."
South Tama's top golfer had a round similar to Taylor Van Dyk - one he'd prefer to forget. Kolton Smith shot a 47 to lead the Trojans, which is seven strokes higher than he shot on the same course a week prior. Smith shot par on three holes, including back-to-back pars on holes four and five. His round of 47 tied for second-best with an East Marshall player.
Dalton Davis was the Trojans' No. 2 golfer as he's been all season. He shot a 49 for STC. Trent Banes and Taylon Anderson each scored 51 on the nine-hole course to round out the scoring for South Tama.
"We didn't shoot as well as we would have liked to shoot," Doran said. "Our No. 1 and No. 2 guys have shot a lot better, especially Kolton Smith. He shot way over what he should shoot and he's obviously frustrated. He has to work on his driving, because it's starting to get away from him. Otherwise, our other guys are starting to close the gap a bit. That will make us more competitive, which will force guys to come out here and do better."
The STC junior varsity boys were also narrowly beaten by East Marshall by a score of 237 to 245. Darien Taylor led the Trojans with a 54. Aron Bartling also shot a 58 for the Trojans.