OTTUMWA — Matthew Walker kicked off his junior golf season with the Ottumwa golf team Monday the way he finished his sophomore year — winning.
The defending Class 4A state champion took first overall by carding a one-under-par score of 70, thus proving why he's such a potent competitor on the golf course.
"He had couple of bogeys," Ottumwa golf coach Scott Maas said about Walker, "but he made up for it with some nice birdies. That's what we expect from him."
Ottumwa, spurred by Walker's superb outing, took fourth at the invite with a overall score of 307 strokes. Not bad, but not quite what was expected of a Bulldog team that took third as a team at state last year. Still, Maas was not overly distraught about his team's performance.
"We're kind of disappointed with fourth place, but we're not disappointed with how we played necessarily," the coach said.
Juniors Braxton Coble and Dillon Patritto both carded a 77 for the Bulldogs.
"They both played well," Maas said. "There were a couple of holes they wish they could have back, but that's golf. Seventy-seven is a very respectable score."
In other scores, senior Hoyt Grooms shot a round of 83, Trey Thomas finished with 84 and Gavin Dostal carded an 86.
Ankeny Centennial took first as a team with a combined score of 294 strokes and Southeast Polk snared second with a final tally of 301. Also, Des Moines Roosevelt, Ottumwa's CIML Metro conference rival, took third with a 306. The Bulldogs will see the Roughriders again Wednesday when both teams compete in the first round of the CIML Metro Conference Meet in Des Moines Wednesday at the Grandview Golf Course.
"We knew they would be good," Maas said about Roosevelt. "They have everyone back from a good team last year. We will have another crack at them Wednesday at Grandview."