ON TO STATE! Haugland, Toillion dip into 70s, Hawks runner-up by 1 stroke at 2A district

DIKE – Locked into the No. 5 slot in the South Hamilton lineup, Jordan Toillion has been a forgotten man for stretches this spring.

There are plenty of quality players and teams that know his name now. He’s a big reason why their seasons are over and the Hawks are still playing.

Toillion played the round of his life at Fox Ridge Golf Course during Friday’s Class 2A district meet and South Hamilton needed every putt he could squeeze out of his round. His 79 gave the Hawks four scores under 80 and allowed them to post a 306 to finish in second place behind district and defending state champion Waterloo Columbus (300).

Both teams advanced to state at Spring Valley Golf Course in Livermore on Friday and Saturday. It’s South Hamilton’s third consecutive state bid.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of all these guys because they knew what they had to do and they went out and did it,” South Hamilton head coach Mark Ullestad said. “A couple different guys stepped up (on Friday) and that was awesome to see.”

The field included four of the five top-ranked teams in the state. Denver was the odd man out with a 307, and Jesup (317) was fourth.

Columbus and South Hamilton posted the top two state qualifying scores. Only Prairie City-Monroe (309) shot better than a 322 en route to advancement.

Toillion and Jake Haugland proved to be the key wild cards for the Hawks. Haugland fired a 1-over 37 on the back nine to open his round and finished with a 77.

“Toillion played good all day. He was just consistent,” Ullestad said. “Jake, with all of the stuff he’s been going through, what more can you say? I had a good feeling Jake was going to play well.”

As usual, South Hamilton’s heavy hitters at the front came through. Trevor Ullestad and Braxton Risetter both fired rounds of 3-over par 75, although neither had the days they were looking for.

Risetter inked five birdies and an eagle, but he also registered a pair of double bogeys and one triple.

“Braxton was just all over the place,” Mark Ullestad said. “Trevor didn’t do anything majorly bad, but he just couldn’t get anything close (on the greens).”

The coach admitted the matching 75s were higher than he envisioned out of his top two players, which is why Haugland and Toillion were so key.

“I knew Jake had a 77 in his bag, but he’d have to play well and he did,” Mark Ullestad said. “Those two were just huge.”

Jordan Bowers (86) and Lucas Fisher (88) rounded out South Hamilton’s lineup.

Columbus led wire to wire, as the Sailors posted six scores in the 70s. Zach Ward (73) was the runner-up after losing a playoff to district medalist Ian Muller (73) of Aplington-Parkersburg.

South Hamilton finished third at state in 2011 and fourth a season ago. Both meets were at Spring Valley Golf Course, a track all of the Hawks are plenty familiar with.

“It should be a fun, fun state meet, that’s for sure,” Mark Ullestad said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Players will tee off at noon on Friday, followed by Saturday’s closing 18 holes at 8 a.m.

Other qualifying teams include Des Moines Christian, Durant, Mount Vernon, OA-BCIG and Fort Dodge St. Edmond.

Nine individuals will also be in the field.