By ANDY HEINTZ Courier sports writer
---- — OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa golf team took second at its home invitational, finishing just one stroke ahead of league rival Des Moines Roosevelt on a hot, dry Tuesday at the Ottumwa Country Club.
The Bulldogs and Roughriders have competed against each other in Ottumwa's first three tournaments and neither squad has been able to win by more than one stroke.
Ottumwa's collective effort — the boys finished with a score of 313 — was spearheaded by an excellent outing by Braxton Coble, who earned runner-up status with a 73.
"[My] Putting was great today," Coble said. "It was mostly a par day."
"He has been playing really well this year," Ottumwa coach Scott Maas added. "I followed him for four or five holes and he hit it good and made some putts. He made a few birdies and a few bogeys and just hung in there. I think 73 was a really good score."
Golfing in familiar surroundings made things a little easier for the Bulldog linkster.
"It helps knowing the course before you go on it," Coble noted.
Meanwhile, Matthew Walker carded a 76 and took fourth overall. Walker, however, was not pleased with his performance.
"A couple of bad shots cost me," Walker said. I had a triple and a double [bogey], and you can't score with those. Six birdies and I'm four over. I could have shot a really good score today, but I was on the wrong side of it. It just wasn't my day."
"Anybody else with a 76 would be at least mildly OK with it," Maas added, "but it's not up to his standards. He just had a few holes that really hurt him. Tiger Woods doesn't score like he wants to every time, either.
Additionally, Hoyt Grooms had a solid day, carding a 77 and tying for sixth place overall. Also, Gavin Dostal shot a 87, Trey Thomas carded a 91 and Jacob Bjerke finished with a 97. The Ottumwa white team, a squad comprised of mostly junior varsity players, took seventh overall with a collective score of 371.
Jack Hardie and Aaron Roane were the top dogs on the white team, as they both carded a 90 and Zach Ray notched a 95. Wyatt Crosby shot a 96, Justin Budan fired a 103 and Shayne Wolfley carded a 105.
Waukee took first overall with a 397 and Aaron Wirt of Des Moines Roosevelt carded the top individual score of 71 — he was the only player to finish under par.
It was a hot day by any standards and the linksters could be seen drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.
"It was tough out there today, it was hot and dry and if you missed the green by a few feet you could end up 30 or 40 yards away from the green," Maas said.
Team scoring — 1. Waukee 307, 2. Ottumwa Red 313, 3. Des Moines Roosevelt 314, 4. Newton 333, 5. Indianola 338, 6. Norwalk 340, 7. Ottumwa White 371, 8. Des Moines East 376, 9. Des Moines Lincoln 410.
Medalist — Aaron Wirt (Roosevelt), 71.
Runner-up — Braxton Coble (OTT), 73.
Top 10 — 1. Wirt (Roosevelt) 71, 2. Coble (OTT) 73, 3. Tripp Kinney (Waukee) 75, 4. Matthew Walker (OTT) 76, 5. Adam Heater (Indianola), T6. Hoyt Grooms (OTT), Parker Howe (Waukee), Conner Littlefield (Waukee) 77, 9. Devin Shores Newton (78), 10. Derek Damman (Newton) 79.
Ottumwa Red individuals — 2. Coble 73, 4. Walker 76, 7. Grooms 77, Gavin Dostal 87, Trey Thomas 91, Jacob Bjerke 97.
Ottumwa White individuals — Wyatt Crosby 96, Jack Hardie 90, 3. Zach Ray 95, 4. Aaron Roane 90, 5. Justin Budan 103, 6. Shayne Wolfley 105.
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