Fuhs survives 3A state meet as rookie, shares 39th

AMES – Alec Fuhs was able to smile and even crack a joke or two as he stood around and waited for scores to be posted following the final round of the Class 3A state golf meet on Saturday at the Ames Golf and Country Club.

One thing he wasn’t willing to do: Talk to his twin brother, Avery.

“I haven’t talked to him yet because I don’t want to hear what he has to say,” Fuhs, a Webster City freshman said after carding an 87 over the final 18 holes in miserable conditions that featured frigid temperatures, gusting winds and a constant downpour. “Yesterday was bad enough (Fuhs shot an 85 in the opening round on Friday) and today will be even worse.”

Competition between brothers aside, Fuhs 36-hole total of 172 placed him in a tie for 39th in the field. He was the No. 2 freshman in the field, trailing only Decorah’s Sam Sacquitne (82-80-162).

Fuhs wasn’t satisfied with either of his rounds, but the experience itself was second to none.

“It was fun and it will be a good experience for next year,” he said. “I was really surprised with how professional everything was down here, so it was really cool.”

Saturday’s round was delayed by 2 hours because of the weather. The thunder and lightning eventually vacated the area, but the rain stuck around and left the entire field in a quagmire. Standing water covered the course, several of the bunkers were unplayable and the par-4 eighth hole had to be converted to a par-3 because portions of the fairway were under water.

Long par-saving putts on Nos. 11 and 12 – Fuhs’ first two holes of the day – seemed to steady the nerves, but then the rain went from a drizzle to a downpour and with it went the confidence.

Fuhs hit his second shot into a pond on the par-5 13th and it began a run of 13 straight holes without a par.

But the rookie wasn’t about to use the weather as a crutch.

“I wouldn’t use that as an excuse. I just didn’t play very well,” Fuhs said. “It was miserable, but the guy I played with (West Delaware senior Brock Morris) shot a 72, so I still could have played well.”

WCHS head coach Dave Brighton followed along and could tell the conditions sapped his pupil’s fire.

“Alec just didn’t have any good luck (on Saturday),” Brighton said. “But I was proud of him because he hung in there. There are very few freshmen who get to play in the state tournament, so he should be proud of that.”

Fuhs got off the bogey train on No. 8 with a nice up and down par from off the back of the green. He followed it up with another par at No. 9 before closing his state meet with a bogey at No. 10.

Friday’s round in more conducive conditions – sunny skies, but still breezy – yielded eight pars, but Fuhs said it took nearly half the round before he was comfortable.

“I was so nervous out there and I probably didn’t get rid of my nerves until the second nine,” he said. “Usually I get the nerves out when I make a bogey, but that didn’t happen.”

Creston/Orient-Macksburg rallied over the final 18 holes to win the team title with a 647 (323-324). Decorah, the 2012 state champion, was three shots off the pace (329-321-650) and finished second.

Clear Lake (320-333-653), the leader after the first day, settled for third.

Carson Whittington turned in a 75 on Saturday to come from behind and give Creston/O-M all the gold. His two-day total of 155 gave him the individual title by one stroke over three players, including Centerville sophomore Alex Moorman, who became the first freshman to win the 3A state crown in 2012. Clear Lake’s Dane Waldron and Decorah’s Michael Peter also shared second.