A balmy Saturday in Marshalltown at the American Legion Memorial Golf Course gave way to only two under-par rounds in the first round of the TR City Golf Tournament – with 2018 champion Cole Davis setting the pace.
Davis, who will play golf for Creighton in the fall and spring, shot a 6-under par 64 to open up a five-shot lead over four-time City champion Sam Zoske. In third place was JD Pollard with an even-par 70 and in a tie for fourth is Marshalltown graduate Grant Greazel and Cody Weaver, both with 1-over 71s. Other notable scores from the open division include three-time division champion Rob Christensen in T6 with a 2-over 72, four-time women’s division champion Amber Henson in the top-10 with a 73 (tied for eighth with 10-time champion Matt Steddom) and two-time defending champion Tate Carlson tied for 11th after an opening 74.
Davis was high on his play Saturday and credited staying away from mistakes on the course as a reason for his good round. He also was comfortable heading into the final round at his home course, Elmwood, with such a sizable lead.
“It was just pretty clean,” Davis said. “I kept it in play, hit the driver well and putted alright.
“Gives me some confidence and a cushion heading over to a place where I play every day.”
Zoske missed the 2021 event after moving away from Marshalltown but remained a member of Elmwood, qualifying him for the City Open. He wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to play in the same event as his son, Isaiah, and compete against him.
Isaiah shot a 77 and will play in the first flight Sunday. Sam’s round has put him in the position of chasing Davis and needing to make up five shots, albeit at a tough course with fast greens in Elmwood.
“I’m just going to go out and just play a round of golf,” Sam said. “The course is so much harder than it was a few years ago and a lot can happen. I think a five-stroke swing out there is doable, [Davis] is going to have to give me a little help on that but I’ve been playing a little more competitive golf and I feel like I can actually put up a number this year.”
In the super senior division, five-time senior and super senior division champion Pete Kelly holds the lead with a 5-over 76 on the first day. He is closely followed by Steve Ruddick at plus-6 77. They will tee off at 7:40 am
In the women’s division, Natalie Henson holds a 17-shot lead following a blistering first round score of 3-under 68. She tees off at 7:50 am Sunday.
The final group of Davis, Sam Zoske, Pollard and Weaver tees off at noon, with Colin Schmit, Greazel, Christensen and Drake Polley in the penultimate group at 11:50 am at Elmwood.