Courier sports staff
---- — BURLINGTON — Starting with their own home tournament two weeks ago, the Ottumwa boys’ golf team had plenty of tournament title to defend this season.
Prior to Monday, however, the Bulldog linksters had yet to defend one of the many team championships they claimed last fall. The Burlington Invitational, however, is a place where winning is becoming second nature to OHS and its defending state champion junior.
Matthew Walker led Ottumwa to the team’s third consecutive team title at Flint Hills Golf Course, earning his third-consecutive medalist title at the tournament. An even-par round of 72 gave Walker a two-shot win over Pleasant Valley teammate Erron Vandemore and Jack Kennedy and helped lift the Bulldogs to a four-shot win over Bettendorf with a team round of 308.
“We’ve come close to defending titles at our tournament and Marshalltown. We don’t feel like we’ve played poorly, we just couldn’t quite get over the top,” Ottumwa head boys’ golf coach Scott Maas said. “The guys were happy to finally get that job done. It made for a much happier ride home.”
While Walker earning his third-straight meet medalist honor was a nice start toward a third-straight team title for the Bulldogs in Burlington, it took complete team effort for Ottumwa to hold off a competitive field. Any of the other top five teams had a chance to dethrone OHS as Bettendorf, Muscatine, Pleasant Valley and Burlington all finished within nine shots of the Bulldogs.
Walker was aided by three teammates finishing within eight shots of the individual lead. Perhaps no one helped out more than freshman Trey Thomas, who finished ninth in the tournament with a round of 77.
“If it hadn’t been Trey, I’m not sure we would have won,” Maas said. “He’s really been coming on.”
Ottumwa will look to make it two title defenses in as many days today when the Bulldogs look to win again at Copper Creek in Runnells at Southeast Polk’s Jack North Invitational, continuing a very competitive week of golf.
“Three state tournament teams are going to be in that field (today),” Maas said. “We’re looking forward to that and we’re really looking forward to Thursday against Roosevelt. That’ll be for the conference dual title.”
BURLINGTON GOLF INVITATIONAL
At Flint Hills Golf Course
Team scoring — 1. Ottumwa 308, 2. Bettendorf 312, T3. Muscatine 315, T3. Pleasant Valley 315, 5. Burlington 317, 6. North Scott 339, 7. Davenport Central 340, 8. Davenport West 346, 9. Clinton 348, 10. Davenport Assumption 352, 11. Davenport North 383.
Medalist — Matthew Walker (Ottumwa) 72.
Runner-up — Erron Vandemore (Pleasant Valley) 74, Jack Kennedy (PV) 74.
Ottumwa individuals — Walker 72, Trey Thomas 77, Braxton Coble 79, Dillon Patritto 80, Hoyt Grooms 81, Gavin Dostal 90.