DIXON – Ryan Dixon sauntered up to his coach, Pat Lessner, and spilled the beans about how his round ended.
"I 3-putted the last hole," Dixon said, "and I'm not a happy camper."
Dixon did indeed 3-putt the fifth hole, his last for the day, to cap off a 4-over-par 40. It was good enough, however, to earn co-medalist honors with Newman's Todd Nelson, and the Dukes edged the Comets 187-189 on Monday at Timber Creek Golf Course.
Dixon and Nelson went back and forth the entire round, with neither player able to gain more than a one-stroke advantage.
Dixon looked to have the advantage on the last hole, when his tee shot on 172-yard fifth came to rest about 12 feet from the hole, while Nelson pulled his approach left of the green.
Nelson chipped up and two-putted for a bogey, while Dixon hit his first putt about 3 feet past the cup, then lipped out the comebacker.
"I wanted the birdie," Dixon said, "and was just little too aggressive on my first putt. I've still got to make it coming back. It was just a bad way to finish."
It was the first match for Nelson and the Comets.
"I'll definitely take this as a good way to start the season," said Nelson, a Dixon resident who plays regularly at Timber Creek.
Both teams have plenty of room for improvement. After Dixon, the Dukes' other counting scores were a 48 from Jacob Bonnell, a 49 from Cord Schroeder and a 50 from John Brechon.
"If we're going to beat anybody, we've definitely got to get our score lower," Dixon said. "A couple of us played OK, a couple of us struggled, but it's not enough."
"If we can get anywhere around 170, that might be somewhat competitive with some other conference schools," Lessner said, "but still, it's got to be in the 160s to have any chance."
Nelson was backed by Matt Wagenecht with 45, Seiler Noble with 51 and Tucker Shoemaker with 53.
"I'm sure we can get lower," Newman coach Carol Nieman said. "It's a great start for Todd, definitely, but the rest of them can bring it down."
Dixon 187, Newman 189
Co-medalists: Ryan Dixon, Dixon, Todd Nelson, Newman, 40
Up next: Dixon at Polo, 4 p.m. Wednesday; Newman, Orion at Morrison, 4 p.m. Sept. 3