The defending Class 2A state champion Creston/Orient-Macksburg golf team faced a tough early season opponent here Thursday, hosting Hawkeye 10 Conference rival Atlantic.
The Panthers survived the early test, knocking off the Trojans 135-140 at Pine Valley.
“A great start to the golf season with a win over Atlantic,” Creston/O-M head coach Jan Lesan said. “63 degrees and a slight wind. Great day for golf.”
Four players shot even par 32 or better, including defending individual state champion Carson Whittington.
Whittington shot 1-under par 31, as did Atlantic’s Evan Schuler.
The tiebreaker for medalist honors went to the handicap hole, which was the 310-yard par 4 fourth hole.
Whittington, whose tee shot carried the pond and landed just past the green, chipped to within 15 feet and sank a birdie putt. Schuler recorded a par on the hole.
Panther senior Hunter Sickels shot even par 32, as did Atlantic’s Kyle Nelson.
But, the third and fourth Panther scorers were able to edge out Atlantic’s third and fourth scorers to give Creston/O-M with five-stroke win.
Junior Christian Groumoutis shot a 3-over par 35, while freshman Kyle Somers recorded a 5-over par 37.
“Kyle Somers five-putted the first green, but then he settled down,” Lesan said.
Rounding out the varsity lineup for the Panthers, Sam Hartsock and Maxx Walters each recorded scores of 38.
“Maxx and Sam were not happy with 6-over,” Lesan said. “Both had only a couple of holes apiece that caused problems. They will bounce back.”
Senior Evan Nielsen, who competed at the JV level Thursday, posted a round of 2-over par 34.
“Evan Nielsen, a varsity player playing JV tonight, showed poise,” Lesan said.
The Panthers return to action Tuesday at Winterset against the Huskies and Clarke.
With just three golfers available for Thursday’s meet at Atlantic, the Creston/O-M girls golf team was unable to post a team score. Atlantic recorded a team score of 171.
“Our first outing of the season went OK,” Creston/O-M assistant coach Kristopher “Kritter” Hayes said. “The three girls that were able to go to Atlantic all did some nice things on the course. All three are aware of the things they can iron out to lower their scores. There were a lot of positives and room to improve.”
Senior Sarah Waigand led the Panthers with a round of 50. Junior Hannah Hagle posted a score of 60 and sophomore Camryn Somers shot a round of 63.
It was the first golf competition for both Hagle and Somers in their high school careers.
Medalist honors went to Atlantic’s Brooke Fletcher, who shot a 2-over par 35.
“It was nice getting back out there competing,” Waigand said. “I was proud of our effort against a solid Atlantic girls team. We think we could compete with most of the teams in the Hawkeye 10 if we have our full team together to post a team score.”
The Panther girls return to action today at ADM.
Nishna Hills Golf Club
Creston/O-M — Sarah Waigand 50, Hannah Hagle 60, Camryn Somers 63.
Medalist — Brooke Fletcher, Atlantic, 35. Runner-up — Brooke Newell, Atlantic, 43.
Creston/O-M (135) — Carson Whittington 31, Hunter Sickels 32, Christian Groumoutis 35, Kyle Somers 37, Sam Hartsock 38, Maxx Walters 38.
Medalist — Carson Whittington, Creston/O-M, 31. Runner-up — Evan Schuler, Atlantic, 31.