IOWA CITY — Brock Barnhart has made a habit of strong finishes.
The Cedar Rapids Kennedy junior closed each of his first two varsity seasons by contending for state titles and posting the best second-round score in both of his Class 4A fall golf finales.
Barnhart keeps those state-title aspirations locked in his mind.
“The one thing I’m really focused on is winning state this year,” Barnhart said. “I’ve played really well the last two years. I’ve been close to winning state. This year, I’m hoping to capitalize on winning state.”
Barnhart added to his regular-season accomplishments as he prepares for the postseason. He fired 3-under 69 to capture medalist honors at the CRANDIC boys’ golf meet Tuesday at Finkbine Golf Course. Cedar Rapids Washington won the team title, shooting 316.
Barnhart finished three strokes ahead of a trio of top players tied for second — Washington’s Connor Neighbors, Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Ian Johnston and Linn-Mar’s Dillon Burr. The competition helps push him.
“It gets me prepared for when it really matters,” Barnhart said. “Winning these just gives me more confidence that I’ll maybe win (districts) and go to state.”
Barnhart was state runner-up medalist as a freshman, carding a second-round 71 to lead the field. He tied for fifth last season, shooting 70 in the second round, which also was the best score that day.
“He wants to win state,” Kennedy Coach Mike Green said. “He’s very capable. He’s definitely a top-five player in the state … It seems like the bigger the tournament the better he plays.”
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The Iowa State commit was impressive at Finkbine. He didn’t post a score higher than 4 on any hole on the front nine, going out in 1-under 35. He came in with a 2-under 34 on the back.
Barnhart was able to attack the pins on the course that played softer and longer rather than its normal fast and hard traits because of recent rains, according to Green.
“The big thing today was hitting greens,” Barnhart said. “I hit 14 greens (in regulation). It made it real easy, hitting the ball to 20 feet. I didn’t have to worry about getting up and down from around the green.”
Barnhart tallied four birdies, an eagle and 10 pars. He limited any damage to just three bogeys on a day only seven players even broke 80. He has focused on improved iron play and Green said he has become better off the tee as well.
“He’s been Mr. Consistent,” Green said. “He’s played well so far.”
Barnhart was propelled by an eagle on the par-5 No. 11 hole. After opening with four straight pars, a strong drive and a shot that laid up just right of the green set up the chip in for 3.
“It was a great way to start the round,” Barnhart said. “It just got me going.
“It kind of went up and down from there. I got birdies. I got bogeys but birdies right after, keeping up the momentum.”
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Washington won by 11 strokes, placing ahead of Cedar Rapids Xavier and Linn-Mar, which tied at 327. The Saints were second, winning a tiebreaker with the best fifth-player score.
The Warriors were led by Neighbors, who carded four birdies including three on par-5 holes. Freshman Nile Petersen shot 80 and Kyle Neighbors and Whit Haefner added 81 and 83, respectively, for Washington.
Xavier was led by Nick Recker, who shot 78. Recker tied Iowa City West’s Kyle Spence and Iowa City High’s Luke Edwards for fifth.
CRANDIC boys' golf meet
At Iowa City
(Finkbine Golf Course, par 72)
Teams - 1. C.R. Washington 316, 2. C.R. Xavier 327*, 3. Linn-Mar 327, 4. C.R. Prairie 330, 5. C.R. Kennedy 331, 6. Iowa City High 351, 7. Iowa City Liberty 374, 8. Iowa City West 376, 9. C.R. Jefferson 391.
Individuals - 1. Brock Barnhart (CRK), 69, 2 (tie) Ian Johnston (CRP), Connor Neighbors (CRW) and Dillon Burr (LM), 72, 5. (tie) Nick Recker (CRX), Kyle Spence (ICW) and Luke Edwards (ICH), 78.
C.R. WASHINGTON (316): Neighbors 72, Nile Petersen 80, Kyle Neighbors 81, Whit Haefner 83.
C.R. XAVIER (327): Recker 78, Mathew Schmit 82, Dan Bailey 83, Max Henderson 84, Michael Glavan 84.
LINN-MAR (327): Burr 72, Drew Muilenburg 82, Zach Hofmann 85, Seth Lukefahr 88, Carter Vieth 93.
C.R. PRAIRIE (330): Johnston 72, Jared Tjelmeland 81, Alec Brockmeyer 88, Collin Brockmeyer 89.
C.R. KENNEDY (331): Barnhart 69, Brady Shea 85, Josh White 88, Gannon Hall 89.
CITY HIGH (351): Edwards 78, Campbell Johnson 88, Reese Hayden 92, Lucas Ribble 93.
I.C. LIBERTY (374): Bo Gryp 87, A.J. Meyer 94, Connor Roach 96, Cody Schroeder 97.
I.C. WEST (376): Spence 78, Andrew Tauchen 90, Caleb Kirk 97, Brendan Klutts 111.
C.R. JEFFERSON (391): Evan Griffith 94, Spencer Smith 96, Tyler Schmitz 99, Sam Staley 102.
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