Shier, Hietpas lead Trojans to invite victoryFirst Fairfield Invitational win for Trojans since 2008
Fairfield senior Alex Shier allowed a broad smile to christen his face after missing a putt on a playoff hole Saturday against Washington’s Ryan Waite.
Normally, missing out on third place at a tournament may have dampened Shier’s spirit, but on this particular day, he knew his team had already earned a victory. After shaking hands with Waite, Shier’s grin never dissipated once his teammates began to rib him for his mistake. These good-natured attitudes were likely the result of earning success that Fairfield wanted intensely.
They say a golf tournament doesn’t truly start until the back nine, and that’s where the Trojans turned up their collective game. After needing 248 stokes to complete their first time around nine holes at the Fairfield Golf & Country Club, the Fairfield boys’ golf team cut their total down to 239 on the back nine thanks to five birdies. The Trojans went on to win the Fairfield Invitational for the first time since 2008.
“A terrific victory for our guys,” Fairfield coach Mick Flattery said. “It’s really great to have the Trojans on top again.”
Fairfield scored 314, finishing 12 ahead of Centerville for the top spot. Washington came in third with 334. Mt. Pleasant, Oskaloosa, Keokuk, Fort Madison and Albia rounded out the field. Mt. Pleasant’s Kiley Miller took first place with a 73. Alex Moorman of Centerville shot a 74 and Waite came in third after winning the one-hole playoff over Shier.
“I was dropping a lot of good putts,” Shier said. “I had a blast. It was nice out and the Fairfield Invite is a big meet.”
Shier shot a 76 and a team low 36 on the back nine. With five birdies on the day, he came in just one stroke better than fellow senior Joe Hietpas. Hietpas was consistent (38-39) through both of his rounds and made two birdies. Landon Gamrath came through with a 79.
Fresh of a third place finish Thursday in Moravia, Fairfield’s No. 1, Nick Higgins, earned an 82 on the day. Higgins ran into a little trouble on his final hole when his ball overshot the green and wound up in the rough. He got under the ball on his next stroke, sending the ball onto the green in a flurry of grass.
“Was it buried?” a competitor asked.
“That’s all I could do with that,” Higgins said. “The sucker was like a foot deep.”
Putting the ball onto the green allowed Higgins to salvage the hole and he finished fourth on the Trojans’ roster. Matt Carr (84) and Dillon Shelby (89) rounded out the varsity squad.
Fairfield’s win brings them to 41-2 on the season. The Trojans won Thursday in Moravia and Friday in Mt. Pleasant, but they desperately wanted the title Saturday. Because of this, their emotions ran high most of the day.
“We talk about handling nerves and being mentally tough a lot,” Flattery said. “I do think we were way jacked up. I know in listening to the guys that they could not wait for this meet and we are talking [about it] back in March.”
The No. 2 Trojans will compete Tuesday in Ames at an invite hosted by Washington. This will be a huge test, considering No. 1 Decorah, No. 3 Pella, Clear Lake and Williamsburg will all be at the meet.
“Our win on Thursday gave us a lot of confidence going into today,” Hietpas said after the invite Saturday. “We have some big meets coming up. This is a big win but we’re not done yet.”
Team, Team Score
Mt. Pleasant 340
Fort Madison 369
Fairfield Individual Scores
- Alex Shier 76 (40-36), Joe Hietpas 77 (38-39), Landon Gamrath 79 (38-41), Nick Higgins 82 (41-41), Matt Carr 84 (43-41), Dillon Shelby 89 (48-41).
Friday against Mt. Pleasant:
- FF 158, MP 167
- Matt Car 38, Nick Higgins 38, Alex Shier 41, Dillon Shelby 41, Landon Gamrath 43, Joe Hietpas 44.