ALEDO, Ill. — Good golf rounds can always come from unexpected sources, and that was the case for the Clinton boys golf team after Saturday's first round of the Mississippi Athletic Conference tournament at Hawthorn Ridge Golf Course.

Sophomore Steve Davis entered the competition as the River Kings' No. 4 golfer, and although Matt Gray played with three other teams' No. 1 golfers due to a need to leave early for a band competition Saturday night, he was listed as Clinton's No. 5. But Davis and Gray proved that they were capable of leading from the front, as both carded an 81 to pace the Kings.

With Friday originally scheduled as the first day but postponed to Saturday due to rain, the tournament resumes today at 9 a.m., again at Hawthorn Ridge. The River Kings are tied for eighth place with Davenport Assumption, with a team score of 328, but Clinton is only eight shots out of fourth place.

"We were challenged today, not only the physical stress, but also the mental stress. However, we did pretty well with that," said Clinton assistant coach Mark Misiewicz, noting that a corporate event at Hawthorn Ridge co-opted the original MAC tee times, resulting in a delay of nearly two hours. "This was the first time that a lot of our kids had been on this course. We still have one more day to play, and I'm really encouraged, especially with the way we've been playing of late.”

Clinton No. 1 player Christian Rowan and No. 3 Logan Hood both carded 83s to complete the River Kings' team score. Alex Baker (No. 6) and Tony Balk (No. 2) had solid nines, but couldn't string together a full 18, finishing with rounds of 90 and 95, respectively.

Davis, though, did have everything working, and he seemed surprised by his personal-best round.

"Everything came together, for the first time all year," he said. "(The delay) didn't bother me; it had no effect on my game. I was able to read the greens really well, and the fairways were really soft, really nice.”

After a four-over start through five holes, Davis birdied the No. 9 hole, and it seemed to carry him through a back nine that played more challengingly for all the golfers. He wound up with six pars on the back and a creditable 40.

Gray and Hood had the best front nines for Clinton, as both shot 3-over 39s. Davis' 40, on the back, was the best second half for the River Kings. And finding low rounds from new faces could mean that Clinton could make a run for a top-half spot on Monday, when expected weather conditions will change the way the course plays.

“This team definitely has a lot of potentially. When we get everything firing on all cylinders, it's going to be a really good team,” Davis said.

MAC Conference Meet

At Hawthorn Ridge, Aledo (par-72)

Team scores — 1. Bettendorf 309. 2. Pleasant Valley 312. 3. Davenport North 316. 4. Muscatine 320. 5. Burlington 321. 6. North Scott 323. 7. Davenport Central 327. 8. (tie) Davenport Assumption and Clinton 328. 10. Davenport West 346.

Individual top 5 — 1. Bobby Wolfe (NS), 72. 2. (tie) Owen Bell (DN) and Jacob Ward (PV), 84. 4. Jackson Hemberger (B), Josh Beghtol (B) and Tyler Hoelting (PV), 75.

Clinton — Steve Davis 41-40—81, Matt Gray 39-42—81, Christian Rowan 40-43—83, Logan Hood 39-44—83, Alex Baker 46-44—90, Tony Balk 44-51—95.

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