Trojan golfers cruise in home opener
Landon Gamrath has been working overtime on his golf game, and the junior reaped the rewards Monday in a Southeast Conference dual with Mount Pleasant at the Fairfield Golf & Country Club.
Gamrath, who often has been the team’s fourth golfer this season, showed he can play with the top dogs and won meet medalist honors with a 2-over-par 37. Gamrath’s performance steered the fourth-ranked Trojans (Class 3A) to a 14-stroke victory, 156-170, in their home opener.
“It’s great to see Landon’s weekend practices paying off for him,” said Fairfield head coach Mick Flattery. “He’s put in a lot of time over the last two weekends.”
Gamrath had one of the Trojans’ two birdies on the day, which came on the 366-yard third hole. The experienced junior played the par-4 and par-5 holes at even-par and earned Flattery’s praise for his putting.
The rest of the Trojan lineup also looked right at home on their own course. Although Mount Pleasant had the second lowest score on the day from junior Kyle Kaufman (38), Fairfield had five scores at or below the Panthers’ next lowest.
Alex Shier and Matt Carr both turned in a 39 for the third lowest score. Shier, who accounted for the Trojans’ other birdie, also putted well to finish even-par on the par 5s. Carr, meanwhile, continued his steady play at the top of the lineup and finished 1-over-par on both the par-3 and par-4 holes.
Junior Joe Hietpas and freshman standout Nick Higgins were two additional strokes back with 41 rounds. Flattery said the short irons worked well for Hietpas, who played the par-4 holes even. Higgins continued his strong performance on the green and played the par-5 holes at 1-over.
Gabe Hull, a senior, filled in the varsity scorecard with a 45.
What impressed Flattery most about the Trojans’ win Monday was his golfers’ mental toughness.
“The guys did a great job of grinding after a bad shot or hole. There were some really good recovery shots,” the head coach said.
The Trojans also won the JV competition, as Ben Hull, Jon Anderson and Vince Horras combined to score a 141 to Mount Pleasant’s 175. Hull shot a 44, while Anderson and Horras turned in rounds of 48 and 49, respectively.
Fairfield’s Dillon Shelby (44), Jordan Whitney (48) and Wyatt Andersen (49) also shot below 50 in JV action. Alex Crile and Trevor Drish both had a 50, Austin Shelby and Drew Stever were at 52 and Nathan Davidson fired a 53. Gavin Stever finished with a 54, Brody Malone carded a 60 and Marshal Fiske had a 61 for Fairfield.
“We had all 21 guys play today and had some really good scores,” Flattery added.
The Trojan varsity squad (10-1) has a day off today. The Oskaloosa Invite, which Fairfield was scheduled to attend, has been postponed.
They’ll continue their big week Thursday at the Preserve Lake Rathbun Invite before hosting their own invitational Saturday at the Fairfield Golf & Country Club.