Boys golf: Hammer finishes 19th at state meet

Ottumwa High School junior Joe Hammer, seen here making a putt on the 18th green at Fox Run Golf Course in Ottumwa earlier this season, finished 19th in the Class 4A boys state golf tournament on Saturday at the Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City

POLK CITY — The Class 4A state golf meet was hardly played under ideal conditions.

Yet, Ottumwa High School’s Joe Hammer made the best of a tough situation.

Hammer shot a final-round 86 to finish tied for 19th Saturday at the Tournament Club of Iowa, giving him a two-day total of 165, or 23-over par for the tournament. He finished 19 strokes behind Linn-Mar’s Dillon Burr, whose pair of 73s were impressive considering temperatures were in the 30s to start the meet Friday, and the start of Saturday’s round was delayed 30 minutes because of frost.

Hammer, starting on the second hole for the second day in a row, struggled from the start. He bogeyed the first three holes to go out in 5-over, then made a birdie at the 10th. However, back-to-back triple bogeys and a bogey on holes 16-18 sealed a tough day.

Six other players finished 23-over, including Burlington’s Nathan Spear.

It was hardly an ideal day for scoring, as just 11 players broke 80 under the tough conditions.

Pleasant Valley’s Jack Roemer was the overnight leader after a first-round 72, but stumbled to an 80 on the second day to finish tied for second with Cedar Rapids Washington’s Nile Petersen, six strokes in back of Burr.

Waukee, which led the team race after the first day, held on by a stroke over West Des Moines Valley for the title. The Warriors shot a 649, while Southeast Polk and Pleasant Valley finished five strokes off the pace.

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