Maharishi School Pioneer Boys Golf
Maharishi School Boys Golf Tournament Report
State Class 1A Southeast District Championship
Friday, May 21, 2004 Valley Oaks GC, Clinton, Iowa
161-164 325 Maharishi School District Champion & State Qualifier
157-169 326 Preston District Runner-up & State Qualifier
170-172 342 Belle Plaine
171-171 342 Montezuma
164-180 344 Central Elkander
174-176 350 Bellevue
172-179 351 Marquette
172-181 353 Midland
176-182 358 Edgewood-Colesburg
178-192 370 Calamus-Wheatland
Individual Top Scores
36-39 75 Jason Huffman Aquinas District Medalist & State Qualifier
38-39 77 Aaron Steinberg Maharishi District Runner-up* & State Qualifier
39-38 77 Mitch Peterson Preston District Third Place* & State Qualifier
39-40 79 Matt Van Scoyoc Belle PlaineDistrict Fourth Place & State Qualifier
* Steinberg won three hole playoff with Peterson
Steinberg's Epiphany -- Aaron Steinberg went two under par for his last four holes to forge a tie with Mitch Peterson of Preston and force a three hole playoff for the Runner-up medal. Aaron won the playoff by one stroke with a tap in par on the first hole, a scrambling up and down on the second, and a five foot par putt in the heart of the cup on the third.
Aaron commented on rising to the occasion, "On fourteen, I had just had five bogies in a row and I hit my tee shot into the woods. Its a 475 yard uphill par four and I had to punch my shot 50 yards back to the fairway. I was angry and up in my head. Then the Preston player made a joke and I just started laughing. I remembered what my dad said that morning about being centered with my energy. It felt like my whole season shifted right there on that hole and the next. I just got it; enough playing small! My focus and resolve deepened and I saved my bogey. I finished regulation and the playoff with a new level of presence and intentionality."
Back Nine Comeback -- Aaron's end game awakening lead a Pioneer back nine charge that made up a front nine deficit to Preston of 157 to 161. With four holes to play the Pioneers were still down by three strokes. The fifteenth hole proved to be the key as the Pioneers exploded for three birdies. Its a reachable par five, guarded by a deep bunker in front and water in play just beyond the green. Dylan Rudney got things started with his third birdie of the day. Two groups later, Aaron sank his ten footer to mount the tide turning towards the Pioneers. Then Will Carlisle, playing in the next group through, sank his medium length putt. And as Will was running his putt in, Steinberg stood on the sixteenth green stroking in a breaking downhill twenty footer to complete the comeback. All that was left was the go ahead birdie from Mani Mullenneaux on his last hole.
Amen Corner Drama -- The top three seeded teams, Maharishi, Preston, and Belle Plaine, were paired together in threesomes at each position, that is those three team's number ones played together, their number twos played together, etc. And they were shot gun started on consecutive holes one, two, and three. The Valley Oaks back nine has an Amen Corner quality such that you can stand at certain vantage points and see players on several holes. These three elements combined with the close scores to make this an uncommonly dramatic tournament.
Pioneer Coach Ed Hipp noted, "As I watched the train of players come through those last holes, I sensed a shift. It almost seemed like they were taller, bigger people. At one point, I could see all of them, some closer, some farther, but they stood out with some kind of aura of strength. When Aaron told me later that he felt his season came together for him there, I wasn't surprised. I felt the season came together for the team there."
Down By the River -- Valley Oaks is the first eighteen hole course to host a Sectional or District tournament in district in the eleven years that the Pioneers have been playing. It is a beautiful, challenging 6355 yard par 72 course that meanders around a river that runs through the towering old oaks of a spacious valley. The roughs were deep and the shots had to be well planned and well struck. By far the most demanding course the Pioneers have encountered in the State tournament since the early days when the finals were played at Finkbine in Iowa City. It would be reasonable to expect Pioneer scoring to be significantly lower at Otter Creek.
Pioneer Wagons Westward Ho! -- The Pioneers move on to the State Finals at Otter Creek GC in Ankeny on Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29. They will be accompanied from this district by Preston and the two non-team individual qualifiers, Huffman and Van Scoyoc.
Ten teams, two from each District plus two home teams that won their Districts, qualified from the four Districts to play in the annual festival of fine golf. These teams qualified with District scores ranging from 303 for home team Adair-Casey to 329 for Greene. From the scores alone, Maharishi's would appear to be middle of the pack with five teams posting lower scores. But if home course advantages and differences in district course difficulty are factored in one might list the contenders as Maharishi, Preston, Treynor, Adair-Casey, and Mason City-Newman.
Certainly it would appear to be a more wide open affair than the last three years when Sumner dominated with three straight championships. They finally graduated their outstanding class and are left with only individual qualifier Josh Krueger. He will play for the individual title along with five other non-team individual qualifiers and the sixty players from the ten teams. Having won the title two years ago and having shot the second lowest individual qualifying score of 73, he is a leading contender along with Beau DeWall who shot a 71 in his District.
My Kingdom for a Fifth Player -- The Pioneers placed all six players in the top eleven. They were the only team to have all its players in the seventies or eighties.
The athletic association implemented a rules change this year that calls for team ties to be broken by counting the fifth score rather than going back out for a playoff. Said Hipp, "This is a good thing for our current team. If we had tied today, Preston would have had to count a 98 for their fifth score. In fact, I wish we could just count all six scores in regulation. We threw away two 83's today. Its great for the players because, in a sense, everybody had a counting score. With the strength on our undefeated JV team, I'd love to see how we'd do playing some big school power in a 'count all seventeen players' match."
A Little History and $5 Will Get You a Mocha Frappacino -- With their win in this ten team field, this season's Pioneers notched the program's historic 500th win. It brings the season overall record to 65-3 and the program's eleven year record to 501-106-2 for a .828 winning percentage.
The Pioneers have now qualified for State three years in a row and in seven of their eleven years. This is the first time since the Championship year of 1996 that they have won both Sectional and District.
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