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Lake Mills boys golf is heading back to state

The Lake Mills boys golf team lost critical pieces to last year’s team that finished third in Class 2A. The Bulldogs knew they would have a chance to return, but that chance has become a reality.

The road wasn’t smooth this year for the Bulldogs, who battled weather, among other things. In one particular meet at Bear Creek Golf Course in Forest City on May 6th, the Bulldogs were obviously disappointed with their team’s scores – everyone there could tell by their facial expressions as the scores were read. The Bulldogs still swept the awards that night. Garrett Ham was the medalist, Bennett Berger was the runner-up, and Lake Mills won the team title. The win also gave the Bulldogs an undefeated regular season going 18-0 – though they weren’t satisfied.

That fact was proven later that evening when the Bulldogs returned to Lake Mills. Senior leader and state championship hopeful Bennett Berger didn’t head home for a warm meal and rest- he went back to Rice Lake Golf Course, where he fired another late-night round. In that round, Berger scored his fourth career hole in one on Rice Lake #6. The Bulldogs will take the championship drive and spirit with them to Ames on Monday.

The Bulldogs had a tough district at Spring Valley Golf Course last night. Garrett Ham closed with two straight birdies to win the medalist with a 74. While his teammate and other state title contender, Bennett Berger, finished second with a 75. The Bulldogs shot a 331 as a team to win by 9-strokes over North Butler, who also qualified for state by shooting a team 340. Both Newman Catholic and Audubon finished tied behind the leaders with a 354, but Audubon got the third spot on a tiebreaker, while Newman finished fourth. 

The two-day state golf meet starts on Monday and will be played at the Ames Country Club. Last year, Lake Mills was in the Class 2A field and were two strokes off the state championship. 

Last year, competing in Class 2A, Lake Mills was two strokes off the state championship. The Bulldogs watched West Branch grab the state championship trophy, which they were hoping to bring home with them.

This year, Lake Mills will take on a new competition field at the Ames Country Club on Monday and Tuesday as they will compete in the Class 1A state field. The 18-hole low in 1A this year has been shot by East Buchanan (306) and Montezuma (309). Lake Mills and AGWSR are tied with third by hitting a low round of 316, but your low score doesn’t matter at state; whoever goes the lowest wins. If you average all those teams’ 18-hole low this season – Lake Mills is the lowest with an average of 327.

Both Berger and Ham will compete for the individual title. Berger currently leads the Class 1A field with a low score of 67, while Ham shot the state’s fourth-lowest score yesterday with his 74. Ben Hesner of East Buchanan and Daniel Stahl of AGWSR lead the state with an 18-hole low average at 73.75 and 74, respectively.

KIOW will have coverage of the state championship meet in Ames next week.

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