Coach Paul Niedermeyer got about what he expected from his Clinton High School golf team in its opening meet of the season.
The River Kings combined for a 342 total and placed ninth Friday at the 12-team Muscatine Invitational at Muscatine Municipal Golf Course. Bettendorf and Muscatine each finished at 310, with Bettendorf claiming the title based on the lower score by its fifth player. Davenport Assumption’s A.J. Skinner shot a 2-under-par 70 to win the individual title by five strokes.
“We weren’t bad,” Niedermeyer said. “We kind of shot about what we figured. We have a lot of room for improvement. I think we can be competitive.
“I think our deal is we’re going to be an evenly matched team. What we’ll need is to have one or two guys step up and shoot in the 70s if we want to be competitive.”
Sophomore Ryan Rursch, who saw some varsity action last season, led the River Kings with an 83. He had one birdie and eight pars on the day.
“I’m pretty happy with that,” Niedermeyer said.
Senior Christian Rowan followed with an 84. He led the way with 11 greens in regulation (reaching the green in two strokes under par or better), but he also had 39 putts and four three-putt holes, second most on the team in both categories. He made one birdie and had six pars.
“His putting killed him,” Niedermeyer said. “If he gets down around 32 (total putts), he shoots in the 70s.
Steve Davis (86) and Paolo Marilim (89) rounded out the scoring for Clinton, while Connor Hood came in at 90 and Connor Kenney shot 101. Davis had a rough start, shooting a 47 over his first nine holes, but finished with a 39 the rest of the way.
“He kind of hung in there and kept battling,” Niedermeyer said. Davis led the River Kings with two birdies.
The season-opening meet featured all but one team (Cedar Rapids Prairie) that Clinton will see in the district tournament at the end of the year.
The River Kings return to action Tuesday when they join Davenport West, Pleasant Valley and host Burlington for a quadrangular at Spirit Hollow Golf Course.
Muscatine Municipal Golf Course, par 70
Team standings — 1. Bettendorf 310*; 2. Muscatine 310; 3. Pleasant Valley 311; 4. Iowa City High 312; 5. Davenport Assumption 317; 6. North Scott 322; 7. Iowa City West 323; 8. Davenport Central 340; 9. Clinton 342; 10. Davenport North 348; 11. Burlington 368; 12. Davenport West 417.
* — Bettendorf won title based on lower score by fifth man.
Individual leaders — 1. A.J. Skinner (DA) 70; 2. (tie) Josh Anderson (M), Nate Burgess (DN), Erron Vandemore (PV) 75; 5. (tie) Jack Wolfe (NS), Grant Simpson (ICH), Dan Robinson (Bet) 76; 8. (tie) Drake Decker (M), Nate Goddard (ICH) 77; 10. (tie) Michael Canfield (M), Peter Kaufman (DC), Dominic Muzzin (ICW), Ryan Duncan (ICH), Mitch Elkin (Bet), Alex Pohlman (Bet), Brett Gaydos (Bet). Marshall Lamb (PV) 78.
CLINTON — 34. (tie) Ryan Rursch 83; 37. (tie) Christian Rowan 84; 42. (tie) Steve Davis 86; 48. (tie) Paolo Marilim 89; 52. (tie) Connor Hood 90; 61. Connor Kenney 101.