Sep. 17—MARSHALLTOWN — Even on an off day, Cale Leonard still had a chance to pull out a win.
The Ottumwa High School senior birdied the 17th hole of the American Legion Memorial Golf Course, pulling within one shot of Southeast Polk senior Cooper Hanson heading the final hole on Friday at the Joe August Invitational. Despite a bogey by Hanson on the final hole, Leonard could not capitalize dropping a shot of his own on the 18th finishing with a one-over-par round of 71 to finish as the tournament runner-up at Marshalltown's home tournament.
"There's a lot of people who wish they could 'off' and shoot one-over par, but Cale considered it an off day in his own words," Ottumwa head boys golf coach Kyle Creamer said.
The Bulldogs finished eighth after posting a season-low 18-hole score of 334 on Friday. Southeast Polk won the team title after finishing as the only team to break 300, posting a 16-over-par round of 296, beating out Indianola by five shots.
"I told the guys (Thursday) to tone down our misses," Creamer said. "At this point of the season, we know what we can and can't do. Now, we need to tighten the screws. We need to keep the ball in play and focus on every shot to bring our score down. We did very well with controlling big numbers."
Trent Grooms posted a round of 85, edging out Marshalltown's Cael Sandvick for 40th place. Tyse Barker finished with a score of 86 for the Bulldogs, earning 42nd place winning a card-of over Ankeny's Conner O'Brien, Southeast Polk's Zach Julander and Ames senior Benji Genise.
"Trent played much better. He looked like his normal self again after getting ill and having to withdraw from our home invitational (on Tuesday)," Creamer said. "Tyse has another solid round. He has been consistent over the last two weeks, which is right where you want be heading into the final stretch of the season."
Cade Hougland rounded out Ottumwa's scoring in the tournament, posting a round of 92 winning a four-player cardoff for 58th place. Chae Thompson finished with a round of 94 while Logan Storto carded a score of 100, finishing in 70th place.
Ottumwa will be back on the course Monday at Flint Hills Golf Course to compete in the Burlington Invitational starting at 10 a.m.