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continues hot play at Morrison

Road warriors

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 12:01 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 12:02 a.m. CDT
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Rock Falls' Andrew Tichler watches his shot from the eighth fairway Monday afternoon at Cross Creek Golf Course in Morrison. The Rockets won a triangular with Newman and the host Mustangs.

MORRISON – It's one thing for a golf team to perform on its home course.

It's another to take the act on the road and still be able to get the job done. That was the challenge facing Rock Falls coming off a record-setting performance a week ago.

The Rockets posted a school-record total of 147 on their home course last Tuesday, and backed that up by winning the Princeton Invitational on Saturday.

Rock Falls took another step in the right direction on Monday with a team score of 153 at Cross Creek Golf Course in Morrison, ahead of the host Mustangs (164) and Newman (180).

"We talked last week about playing well at home, but we also had to make a statement on the road," Rock Falls coach Tom Frank said. "We did this weekend at Princeton, and then today at Morrison, it's nice to see them playing well on the road. Obviously postseason is on the road, so that's the important part."

Leading the way for the Rockets were Cooper Kilberg and Aaron Frank, who posted rounds of 36 and 37, respectively.

Kilberg opened with pars on his first three holes (2-4), then scored an eagle on the 269-yard fifth hole when he pitched in from about 25 yards. He remained at 2-under until running into trouble his last two holes.

After a perfect drive on the 264-yard, par-4 ninth hole, he left his approach 40 feet short of the cup. He then needed three putts to get down from there.

On the 301-yard first hole, Kilberg drove into a pond to the right of the green, leading to another bogey.

"I could have had an outstanding round," Kilberg said, "but all-in-all, I was pretty happy with shooting par today."

Aaron Frank needed only 10 putts in nine holes, and no putts on his signature hole for the day, the 275-yard, par-4 seventh.

"I've been hitting my driver pretty straight lately, so I figured that I would take a shot at the green," Frank said. "I pushed it a little bit right, and ended up under a tree. I took the unplayable lie, gave myself a little bit of room, and chipped in from about 40 yards for birdie. That was probably the best shot of the day for me."

Trace Hippen (39) and Andy Tichler (41) rounded out the Rock Falls scoring.

Ben Tegeler was low for Morrison with a 40, Colton Smith Nick Kaufman each had 41s and Brock Smith added a 42. Colton Smith had a pair of chip-ins for par, on No. 3 and No. 6, to prevent further damage.

"My drives were bad, but my short game was pretty good," Smith said. "That's what kept it low."

For Newman, Matt Wagenecht was low with a 41, his season best by two strokes.

"I'm definitely starting to hit my irons straighter," Wagenecht said. "That was a problem at the start of the season, but I've really figured that out now."

Todd Nelson (43), Tucker Shoemaker (48) and Shawn Rosengren (48) had the Comets' other counting scores.

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