NEWTON, Kan. — The fourth-ranked Indian Hills golf team had one goal in mind heading into their final round of the regular season on Tuesday.
"We want to shoot the best 18 holes of the season," Indian Hills head coach Mike Hagen said on Monday night.
The Warriors will go into the postseason coming off of their best round of the spring. It didn't come on Tuesday, however. Mother Nature saw to that.
Rain cancelled the final 18 holes of the Iowa-Kansas Clash at Sand Creek Station Golf Course, leaving IHCC to settle for the 19-shot margin they slept on after two rounds over Iowa Western as the final margin of victory. A second-round 275 left the Warriors as the lone team under par for the tournament with a 14-under team total of 562, giving IHCC a huge wave of momentum heading into the NJCAA District Meet for the Warriors to be held back on the same course next week.
"Whether it was cut short by 18 holes or not, a win is a win," Hagen said. "We'll move on into the next week of practice and get ready for districts."
Sophomore Mitch Tucker earned the meet medalist honor with his five-under, two-round 139 total while four different Warriors finished in a tie for fourth place, two shots back. Hagen talked about the mindset of the IHCC golfers upon realizing they would not be able to finish out their second-straight win on Tuesday over 18 final holes.
"I think the guys were a little disappointed they couldn't get out and play," Hagen said. "Things were really starting to click for us, but they realized the weather wasn't going to allow for it. There will be another time and place for us to play."
That time and place will be next Monday and Tuesday as the Warriors will battle some of the top team in the nation to earn the right to battle for a third-straight NJCAA Division I National Golf Championship. Next week's District III meet will feature a field similiar to the one that played in the Iowa-Kansas Clash, including eighth-ranked Hutchinson, ninth-ranked Johnson County, No. 14 Iowa Western, No. 16 Dodge City and No. 20 Garden City.
"Our attitudes are great right now, especially with the weather we've had to battle throughout the year, but we have a tough road ahead for us next week," Hagen said. "It might be the toughest district in the country waiting for us next week. There might be five teams in the top 15 in the country there."
"We'll have to be playing some of our best golf. This is the toughest district field we've faced in my time here at Indian Hills."
At Sand Creek Station Golf Course
Team scoring — 1. Indian Hills 287-275-562, 2. Iowa Western 293-288-581, 3. Johnson County 288-295-583, 4. Dodge City 295-296-591, 5. Hutchinson 298-299-597, 6. Garden City 300-304-604, 7. Independence 317-313-630, T8. Coffeyville 316-317-633, T8. Kansas City (Kansas) 323-308-633, 10. Allen County 333-331-664, 11. Colby 333-334-667, 12. Barton County 328-342-670.
Medalist — Mitch Tucker (IHCC) 71-68-139.
Runner-up — Michael O'Conner (Hutchinson) 70-70-140 and Mariano Rossi (Dodge City) 70-70-140.
IHCC individuals — 1. Tucker 71-68-139, T4. Ben Ludlum 69-72-141, T4. Conner Peck 72-69-141, T4. William White 75-66-141, T26. Collin Pearson 76-77-153.
Other IHCC individuals — T4. Kevin Workman 69-72-141.