No. 1 Hawks have wings clipped by Gilbert again

AMES – The wind was already a factor as players stuck the tee in the ground to begin yesterday’s round of golf at the Ames Golf and Country Club.

The rain started to come down in sheets before they were able to finish their first hole.

So, yeah, it was a fun day to be on the links.

The blustery conditions that forced the temperatures to plummet and irritating rain showers didn’t seem to bother the top-ranked (Class 2A) South Hamilton squad however, as it threw together one of its best 9-hole rounds of the season.

And yet it still wasn’t good enough.

Eighth-ranked (3A) Gilbert again thrived on its home course and tripped up the Hawks for the second time in the last four days on the terrain. The Tigers posted a 145 to South Hamilton’s 150.

“They’re a good team … one of the better 3A schools around,” South Hamilton head coach Mark Ullestad said of Gilbert. “But that’s also a pretty good advantage playing that course when you play it all the time.”

Gilbert’s Ty Austin topped the leaderboard with a 35 on the front 9, which was playing at a par-34 after coaches opted to turn the 335-yard, par-4 third hole into a par 3 that measured approximately 110 yards.

South Hamilton senior Trevor Ullestad and Gilbert’s James Howell shared the runner-up medal with matching 36s.

Trevor Ullestad’s round featured seven pars and a pair of bogeys, but he was never able to get his putter working the way he had hoped. He two-putted all nine greens and missed makable birdie putts at the first and third holes.

“Those are big greens on that course and they’re just different than what we’re used to,” Mark Ullestad said.

Braxton Risetter was just a shot out of the runner-up slot with a 37. Jordan Toillion was right on his heels with a 38 and Jordan Bowers’ 39 gave South Hamilton four sub-40 scores.

Nevada (159), Saydel (184) and North Polk (185) also competed in the Heart of Iowa Conference meet.

The Hawks were scheduled to compete in the Lynx Invitational today at Briggs Woods Golf Course in Webster City, but that tournament was postponed because of Webster City’s involvement in today’s North Central Conference meet.

So instead, South Hamilton will spend the next few days preparing to host a Class 2A sectional tournament at the Jewell Golf and Country Club on Friday at 9 a.m.

“I think the guys are excited (for sectionals),” Mark Ullestad said. “They have a goal for themselves and I know they want to go low on their home course.”