Riverland stuck in a bunker

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 26, 2002

Riverland took a few steps forward with a strong start to the season, but the men's golf team has taken two steps back recently.

The Blue Devils finished second at their own invitational Tuesday at the Austin Country Club, scoring a 334 with only one score better than an 85.

Riverland was playing without No. 2 player Brett Wuerflein, who could not attend the meet due to class conflicts. Jeff Clark took the initiative to make up for Wuerflein's absense, scoring meet medalist honors for the first time this season with a 2-under par 70 on his old home course.

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Clark shot rounds of 34-36 to take the individual title by six strokes ahead of runner-up Clayton Johnson from Minneapolis.

"He beat some people that he hadn't beat yet this season," said Riverland coach David Lillemon. "Nothing special, he just said he made all the putts he needed to make, and that he only missed two fairways."

Joe Hewitt followed up with an 85 for Riverland, and Grady Rider and Curt Peterson contributed 89s. Andrew Routh's recent struggles continued with a 90.

"We were really making some nice strides, I thought we played solid and looked like we were a contender there for a while," Lillemon said. "But the last couple meets we've taken two steps back. The good news is that we've got a week to turn it around."

Riverland lines up in the Region XIII and Minnesota state tournament Monday and Tuesday at the Mankato Country Club.


Team standings -- 1. Rochester 328, 2. Riverland 334, 3. Bethany Lutheran 340; Inc. -- Minneapolis, Iowa Lakes, Minnesota West.