The Mount Vernon varsity boys’ golf season has officially closed, following a final act wherein Mustangs senior Kayden Pendergrass participated in the 2021 Iowa High School Boys State Tournament, held at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown.
Rain delayed play Thursday morning, May 27, but it soon resumed and ran on schedule through Friday.
“The weather was terrible,” head coach Mark Binsfield reported. “The first day, it rained all day. The second day, it was cold and rainy.”
At the conclusion of the tournament, Pendergrass had scored an 85 on day one, and a 92 on the second day. The two scores placed him tied for 32nd out of 68. Waverly Shell Rock junior Hogan Hansen was Class 3A state champion with a five-over-par 145.
While Pendergrass had turned in better rounds during the regular season, the weather didn’t shake him.
“I’m used to adjusting on the fly to the weather,” said Pendergrass.
“Playing spring golf in Iowa can be tricky, because the weather can change so quickly day to day. I try to practice in all environments if I can, I feel that gives me the best chance to be prepared for any weather.”
Pendergrass reveled in the opportunity to play at a state level.
“It was exciting, something I really wanted to achieve,” he said. “A little nervous too, but it was excited nerves.”
“He putted really well on the first day,” Binsfield assessed, “and he drove the ball really well on the second day.”
The two-day elite sports tournament won’t be Pendergrass’s last of his career, as he is set to play golf at Iowa Central Community College in the fall. He plans to play and play until then.
“I’m just going to continue to improve on the major areas of my game, especially my short game,” Pendergrass said.
“That’s really good to hear,” Binsfield said of Pendergrass moving on to another level.
“He’s going to play all summer long. He really plans on playing every day and getting as good as possible so he can start his freshman year off at Central in the best possible way,” Binsfield said.
Pendergrass is one of only three seniors on a Mustangs team that opened the season with 26 participants.
“We started off the year with 26 kids, so that’s 26 kids that like golf and had a fun year, and hopefully we’ll get another 26 next year,” said Binsfield.
“I’m happy with the way the kids performed all year long,” he said of his team.
“I look forward to a good year next year.