LONG GROVE – The Clinton High School golf team ended their 2019 campaign on Monday afternoon with an 11th place team finish at the Class 4A regional tournament at Glynns Creek Golf Course.
The Fulton Steamers across the river won their regional meet.
The River Kings came in with 365 team points at the end of the day, which was originally scheduled to be played in Clinton but was moved due to course conditions. Pleasant Valley ran away with the 14-team district meet, finishing with a 304 team score. Bettendorf and Cedar Rapids Xavier were the next two finishers both earning state berths, finishing with 325 and 327 respectively.
Clinton had state-hopeful Joe Simpson leading with the No. 1 group of golfers. Simpson finished close to qualifying, bit just out of range with an 80 on the day. Simpson shot a 74 late last week to finish third in the Mississippi Athletic Conference, but struggled to hit par on Monday afternoon.
He shot a 39 on the front nine and finished with a 41 on the back to end his day.
Senior Andrew Brisch was in the thick of things with a 41 on the front half but struggled to finish the day, ending with a 90 overall.
Noah Hayton finished the day with a 97 while Ty Koehler shot a 98. Andrew Reed and Josh Riessen, both senior, rounded out the River King scoring with a 107 and 108 respectively.
The end to the 2019 season also marks the end of the 40-year coaching career of Paul Niedermeyer, who is retiring after this season.
In addition to the top three teams, three individuals advanced to the state tournament as well. They were Burlington’s Nate Spear, Iowa City High’s Reece Hayden and Assumption’s Keeton Thissen. Both Thissen and Hayden shots 79s.
Ian Wiebenga impressed on Monday during Fulton’s regional meet in Lanark, Ill. Wiebenga shot a 74 on the day to earn the individual title, leading the way to a team victory for the Fulton Steamers.
Fulton finished with a 321 team score. Eastland shot 356 and Dakota 363.
Andrew Schrader came in second place overall with a 76. Patrick Wiebenga finished fourth with an 85 and Alex Hartman placed fifth with an 86.
Josh VanderPloeg came in with an 88 on the day and Landon Meyers a 119.
The Steamers, who have goals of qualifying for state as a team, usually are led by two-time state qualifier Andrew Schrader. Head coach Kevin Ver Hoeven knows that the scoring evening out a little is showing growth and depth in his top six.
“It was a good day,” Ver Hoeven said. “Ian was outstanding, Alex was more than solid and the rest of the guys really came through. On the back nine we were a cumulative 10 over and Andrew had our fourth best score which shows how well we really played.
“A couple of kids really bounced back well from slow starts and that is a good sign heading into sectionals next Monday.”
The Steamers will now move on to sectionals in hopes of advancing to the state tournament. Those take place on Monday morning.