OTTUMWA - Playing against its toughest competition of the season, the Marshalltown boys' golf team placed seventh out of 11 teams at the Ottumwa Invitational on Thursday.
The Bobcats fired a 374, which was eight shots better than Des Moines East and 19 strokes off sixth-place Newton.
"Even though the scores were much higher than we'd like, it was good for our guys to go head-to-head against some of the top teams in the state," Marshalltown coach Lucas Johnson said. "We have a ways to go, and hopefully by the end of the season we can cut into the gap."
Host Ottumwa won the tournament with a 296. Waukee and Dowling Catholic were second and third, respectively, at 303 and 307. Des Moines Roosevelt took fourth and Indianola was fifth but finished well off the pace.
Marshalltown was led by senior Connor Johnson, who fired an 86. Senior Riley Wirth carded an 89, and freshman Brant McKibben shot a 97. The fourth counting score came from junior Drayton Lents, who shot a 100, while freshman Sam Weatherman scored a 104 and Grant Whitmore a 106.
"We had too many penalty strokes, especially off the tee," Lucas Johnson said. "Ottumwa is a course that rewards quality shots and penalizes loose shots. For most of our guys, it was the first time seeing the course."
Medalist honors went to Ottumwa's Matthew Walker, who won the tournament with a 67.
Sophomore Michael Schrempf suffered an injury while playing on the Bobcats football team. A broken hand will likely sideline Schrempf for the rest of the season. The extremely hot weather also played a factor in the Bobcats finish Tuesday.
"I am glad we play again on Thursday so we don't have to sit on these scores for too long," Coach Johnson said.
The Bobcats will travel to Newton on Thursday. The Newton Invitational begins at 1 p.m.