It was a challenging field to come out of but never-the-less the Waukee boys golf team did that and more with a second-place finish at the Turk Bowman Invitational Tuesday, Sep. 17.
Held at the Veenker Golf Course, the Warriors placed second out of 15 teams thanks to a team score of 321. The only team to best Waukee on the day was Ames High School who took the tournament crown with a score of 316. Two Warrior stars graced the top 20 individual scores. That would be the senior-junior pair of Matthew O’Brien and Jack Starr. Both golfers posted team low scores with marks of six-over-par 78 through 18-holes played and placed 11th and 12th respectively out of 144 golfers. O’Brien captured his lowest 18-hole score of the season and did so in strong fashion. The senior carded 13 pars overall, seven of which came in consecutive fashion to round out the front nine. He then proceeded to earn five more pars including the always difficult par-five hole 18. Overall O’Brien carded a front nine score of two-over-par 38 while collecting a four-over-par mark of 40 across the back nine. As for the junior phenom Jack Starr, he produced a 12 par performance on the day. Four of those pars rounded out his back nine score of three-over-par 39 which nicely complimented his front nine score of 39 as well.
Next up on the Warrior scorecard was Josh Nichols with a front-nine score of 42 and a back-nine mark of 40 to card an 18-hole score of 82 for the meet. Nichols was the only Warrior to card a birdie on the par-three hole 14. Jack Utsler was next for Waukee carding an 18-hole score of 83. His efforts were highlighted by hole nine where Utsler carded an eagle on the par-five hole. Charlie Steer used a nine-par performance to walk away with an 18-hole score of 84 while Charlie Andrews rounded out the Warrior scorecard with an 18-hole score of 86.
It’s been nearly two weeks since the Warriors took part in invitational action and with not so great weather conditions added in, head coach John Kotz thought his team performed quite well.
“Veenker Memorial can be a difficult course when the wind blows and the flagsticks are placed in tournament positions,” began Kotz. “Our players handled the difficult conditions pretty well. It was nearly impossible to get into a rhythm with the slow pace of having 144 golfers as well as the heat. With that said I thought our guys persevered and came out with a respectable outcome.”
Next, up for the Warrior linksters will be their next invitational which takes them to the Willow Creek Golf Course Monday, Sep. 23. Waukee will be part of a nine-field that also includes host West Des Moines Valley, Ankeny Centennial, Dowling Catholic, Johnston, Des Moines Lincoln, Mason City, Des Moines Roosevelt, and reigning Turk Bowman champion Ames. That meet will kick-off Monday morning beginning at 10 a.m.