Muscatine boys golf coach Scott Schultz received another strong performance from his team Monday as it tallied a 331 to defeat Burlington by 25 strokes at Burlington Country Club, but he still felt something was missing.
The Muskies' top four golfers through the first nine holes combined to shoot 18-over-par, with Bryce Howard leading at 3-over-par and James Solt right behind at 4-over, but the team started to fade toward the end.
Muscatine's top four ultimately combined to shoot 43-over-par for the round, with Howard finishing as the medalist at 8-over-par 80.
"Overall, we did a lot of good things on the course today," Schultz said. "... Just lacking that discipline to stay focused over the last few holes, or we'll go through a two, three, four hole stretch where we just can't get out of our own way, and everything just seems to multiply. Once we can eliminate that, we're going to be in a much better place than where we are now."
JT Manjoine was a prime example of how crucial it is to stay focused through an entire round.
"JT wasn't playing poorly, just things weren't going his way, and his chili was running a little bit hot," Schultz said. "I had to be firm with him and say, 'if you're going to let all the stuff that happened before influence the shot you're going to do now, then you might as well just throw in the round and we can go back to the van and leave.'"
Manjoine responded with a good shot on No. 9, but hit it long and was left with a difficult pitch shot. After another talk with his coach, Manjoine hit his next shot to within 10 feet of the hole and knocked in the putt to save par.
"It was an incredible up and down," Schultz said. "You illustrate the point to him and it works out. That's that mental toughness."
Manjoine shot an 81, Brigg Burback shot an 84 and Miles Utley shot an 86 to round out the top four for the Muskies.
"I felt the course was set up to my advantage," Burback said. "It wasn't very long and it was a lot of dogleg right. I had a little bit of a slice so I could get around the corner, but overall I thought I played pretty well."