Matt Dail had no problem picking out the key to his round Monday at a triangular golf meet at Fulton Country Club.
It wasn’t an amazing shot for an eagle or draining a birdie putt. Without hesitation, he focused on the hole that could have been a disaster.
“On No. 9, I was out of bounds off the tee, but I still saved bogey,” Dail, a junior for Fulton High, said of his experience on the 475-yard, par-5 hole. “If it hadn’t been for that, my round would have been gone.
“I got up and down from about 105 yards, put it on (the green) and made the putt.”
Thanks to his recovery, Dail finished with a 3-over-par 39 to earn medalist honors and led a solid effort by the host school.
“I’ve been trying for weeks to be No. 1, and this might be the night,” he said. “I made six pars; the consistency was there today.”
It was a pretty good night for all the Steamers. Three teammates — Kyle Wiebenga, Gunner Decker and Lucas Wiebenga — finished with 40s as Fulton shot a 159 as a team. Logan Rascher added a 41 and Brett Terrock rounded out the scoring with a 44 as Steamers posted the top six scores, and two of their junior varsity players, Jared Barsema and Brandon Knott, also fired 44s to tie for medalist honors as the JV team shot a 182.
Erie edged Prophetstown 204-205 for second place in the varsity competition as the Cardinals’ Coby Kuhnen shot a 46, the lowest score by a non-Fulton player.
“They played excellent,” first-year Fulton coach Mark Speir said of his players. “They probably hit the ball as good as they could. They had good short games, and everybody putted well. They probably played up to their potential for the first time this year.
“This ideally is how well we should play, in the 155-160 range.”
They’ve got a good thing going in Fulton and want to continue it. The two-time defending Three Rivers Conference champions are strong again and pushing each other to become even better.
“We compete against each other and try to make each other better,” Dail said.
The competition showed Monday when Wiebenga thought he had spoiled Decker’s chance at being the medalist by making a birdie on the final hole to tie Decker with a 40, only to see Dail come it at 39 later.
Fulton Country Club, par 36
Team standings — 1. Fulton 159, 2. Erie 204, 3. Prophetstown 205.
Medalist — Matt Dail (F) 39.
FULTON — Dail 39, Kyle Wiebenga 40, Gunner Decker 40, Logan Rascher 41, Brett Terrock 44, Lucas Wiebenga 40.
ERIE — Coby Kuhnen 46, Alex Garrison 49, Levi Floming 67, Tanner Brockway 51, Brody Rickels 59, Steven Shellhorn DQ.
PROPHETSTOWN — Carter Ames 55, Rivor Gage 47, Jake Plautz 47, Zach Maronde 59, Owen Cassan 73, Austin Snyder 56.
Junior varsity — 1. Fultonn 182, 2. Erie 235, 3. Prophetstown 248. Co-medalists — Jared Barsema (F), Brandon Knott (F) 44.