To say the Muscatine boys golf team entered Monday's River King Invitational cold is an understatement.
Due to the rainy conditions across Eastern Iowa over the last week, the Muskies went without an invitational and only practiced twice last week.
On top of that, the driving range at the River King Invitational wasn't open Monday, so the Muskies' opening tee shot marked their first real golf swings in six days.
"I think some of the kids started out rough because they hadn't swung the club in six days," junior Brigg Burback said. "I think if kind of affected everybody's round."
Still, Muscatine had a team score of 358 Monday, good for a fourth-place finish and just seven strokes out of second place. Pleasant Valley won the invitational with a 311.
Both Burback and head coach Scott Schultz admitted the Muskies were disappointed because they felt like they gave away a second place finish. Burback and fellow junior James Solt led the way for Muscatine, as they tied for 13th by shooting 88, respectively.
Senior Nate Diercks and freshman Grant Valiant tied for 16th by each shooting a 91, respectively.
However, both Solt and Burback felt they could have performed better. Burback said two sevens on the front nine hurt his score, while Solt admitted he struggled to bounce back from a few double bogeys.
"It's hard to come back from those," Solt said. "You get down on yourself and then you try to play your next shot but you can't get it out of your mind."
That, according to Schultz, has been the Muskies' biggest issue so far this season.
“We have a problem with getting out our own way, that’s what we do," Schultz said. "We don’t have the firepower, so when we get in trouble we compound it.”
Schultz and Solt both agreed that in addition to mental issues, hitting off the tee is something Muscatine needs to correct moving forward.
"If we can't get off the tee and are playing from the trees it makes trying to birdie almost impossible," Schultz said. "It makes par tougher, too."
Muscatine will look to bounce back Wednesday in what Schultz tabbed as a huge tournament for his team, as it heads to the 18-team Washington Invitational at TPC Deere Run, the same course that plays host to the John Deere Classic.