In one of their best outings of the season, the Class 4A second-ranked Waukee High School boys’ golf team walked away with the Valley Classic title Monday afternoon.
Held within the confines of the Willow Creek Golf Course, Waukee bested a nine-team field that also included fourth-ranked Ames, fifth-ranked Valley, and tenth-ranked Dowling Catholic. The Warriors carded a team total of 293 which bested host Valley who carded a 298 and Dowling Catholic who carded a team total of 301.
In total, while Valley had the top two finishers for the meet, three Warriors placed inside the top ten individual golfers. Pacing the way for the Warriors was Matthew O’Brien who carded an 18-hole round of 70. O’Brien, the 50th-ranked individual 4A golfer, not only placed third individually out of the entire meet but also marked the best 18-hole round of his varsity career. That marked a one-under-par performance out of the senior who carded a front nine score of three-under-par 32 followed up by a back nine score of 38. Highlighting his efforts on the front nine was a pair of birdies across the front nine, in fact, was the only Warrior to card birdies across the par-three holes three and seven.
It was a performance for the ages for O’Brien and one that head coach John Kotz mentioned following the meet.
“Matthew O’Brien has had a great attitude this season towards competition and his golf game,” said Kotz.
Following his performance was the great work of junior Jack Starr. While he didn’t have his best performance of the season, he still churned one of his top five scores of the season with a two-over-par 73. The sixth-ranked Class 4A golfer had a comparatively rough end to his outing but had a strong start with a one-under-par front nine score of 34.
Jack didn’t have a pretty round compared to what he’s been doing,” began Kotz. “His ability to turn a tough day of ball striking into a low score is very commendable.”
Jack’s performance included a fifth-place finish at the Valley Classic.
Rounding out the top ten for Waukee included Jack Utsler who carded an 18-hole round of three-over-par 74. Utsler was the only Warrior to card a birdie on hole nine en route to a front-nine score of 36 and a back-nine score of 38. Seniors Charlie Steer and Josh Nichols continued their consistent ways by carding rounds of 76 each to place 13th and 14th respectively. Both produced their season-best 18-hole scores of the season.
“It’s always nice to our seniors continue to stay consistent,” began Kotz. “We need players to be shooting low scores near postseason time and this is just what we need from our seniors.”
Rounding out the varsity lineup for Waukee was sophomore William Klein carding an 18-hole score of 79 which marked his season-low score.
The varsity group wasn’t the only ones who earned success as the Warrior JV team won their version of the Valley Classic by a full 28 strokes. Charlie Andrews, vying for varsity time, was the JV medalist on the day scoring an 18-hole round mark of 71 which would have been good enough for a top-five varsity performance. Sophomore Brock Seiser added a 75 to shoot his career-low followed by juniors Payton Sandfort and Karsten Samples who finalized scores of 78’s across their respective 18-hole played.
Waukee will have three more meets this week with the Cedar Falls Invitational at Beaver Hills Country Club today followed by an eight-team tournament at Copper Creek Golf Course on Wednesday, Sept. 25, and capped off by a one-on-one match-up with Fort Dodge in a make-up contest on Thursday, Sept. 26.