By SCOTT JACKSON Courier sports writer
---- — OSKALOOSA — Whitney Dostal had hopes entering Friday of helping lead the Ottumwa girls golf team to the Oskaloosa Invitational title.
To do it, Dostal was figuring on needing a round in the 70s.
By the end of the day, Dostal had to settle for what she could get on a windy day at Edmundson Golf Course. As it would turn out, that round of 81 would be plenty.
Not only did the Bulldog junior lead the fifth-ranked (3A) Ottumwa girls to the team title over Albia on Friday, she did so with ease over teammate Darby Patritto. Dostal, who went in as the Bulldogs' listed number-two player, beat out the Bulldogs' number one by 10 strokes as wind gusts picked up on several prep golfers throughout the day in Mahaska County.
"Conditions definitely weren't the best, so I'll take it," Dostal said when asked about her round following her first 18-hole tournament of the season. "I pay attention to the wind in every direction. Beyond that, you just have to read it the best you can."
According to Ottumwa boys head coach Scott Maas, who filled in for Steph Mishler for a second-straight day to lead the Bulldog girls, the wind was no one's friend on Friday.
"It just seemed like, when we started, it was blowing and after a while it settled down for the girls," Maas said. "All of a sudden, it came back and actually started blowing even harder and didn't stop after that."
The wind only made Edmundson an even tougher course to navigate. Several tee shots and fairway irons went left, went right and had several young ladies looking for the greens through the rough and the trees.
"This is a tough course to play even when the wind's not blowing if you're not used to it," Maas said. "There's a lot of local knowledge that's needed to play well on this course. The greens were tough to judge and the wind certainly didn't help the girls in being able to approach them easily. Whitney's 81 was pretty good considering those conditions."
And as a team, Ottumwa's 363 would prove to be very good on Friday. The Bulldogs were 41 shots clear of the Lady Dees, who finished second for a second-straight day after finishing behind PCM at the Mustangs home invite on Thursday.
"I guess that's the bad news," Albia head girls golf coach Mike Duea joked. "I prefer the good news, which is that we are 10-2 over the last two days of Invitational play with a lot of good teams."
The Lady Dees edged out Pella for second by just two shots and Winterset by 10. Lexie Van Polen led Albia for the second afternoon in a row, shooting a pair of 48's for 96 total shots and a sixth-place overall finish.
With just four events under their belt thus far this season, Ottumwa will head into a week with three events scheduled including the Bulldogs' home invitational awaiting on Thursday at the Ottumwa Country Club. Between now and then comes a trip to the Johnston Invite on Monday and a Metro dual at home with Indianola Tuesday.
"This was a good tournament because a lot of the young girls don't get to play in conditions like this a lot," Patritto said after earning the runner-up honor for the tournament. "You're going to be tested like this at some point during the season. It's good to see how you're going to react to it."