A fine year of Western Dubuque golf concluded with yet another narrow miss at the Class 4A State-Qualifying Meet, at Glynn’s Creek Golf Course, in Eldridge, Oct. 5.
With the top three teams qualifying for the state meet, at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9-10, the Bobcats finished fifth, only four strokes behind third-place Linn-Mar.
Season-long front-runner Pleasant Valley fired a 316 team score on an exceptionally breezy day at the lengthy Glynn’s Creek layout to take the team title over a resurgent Wahlert team that finished at 321 to qualify. Linn-Mar, led by defending individual state champion Dillon Burr’s runner-up finish with a 76, won a three-way horse race for third at 327.
North Scott had a strong performance to take fourth at 330 and Western Dubuque was fifth at 331. Davenport Assumption was next in line at 337, while Ottumwa — with two individual qualifiers — was seventh at 337. Burlington finished at 340, Bettendorf 348, Central DeWitt 350, Davenport West 366, Muscatine 369, Davenport Central 393 and Davenport North 394.
“It’s really hard not to be disappointed,” said Western Dubuque coach Ben Wilson. “This is just a fun, hard-working group of kids and I just wanted them to have this opportunity.”
Joe Hammer, of Ottumwa, was the individual medalist at 74, with Burr second at 76. Cale Leonard, of Ottumwa, and Jack Dumas, of Pleasant Valley, were also at 76.
Western Dubuque junior Davis Stelzer finished fifth overall at 77 — missing qualifying individually by one shot after playing in the 2019 state meet.
Jax Stelzer, a 2018 individual state qualifier, shot a round of 80 (41-39) to close out a fine career at Western Dubuque, while senior Max Naumann finished a nice three-year run with an 89.
“Jax has been our best player for four years, and it was really hard to watch him, knowing he wasn’t going to make it to state his senior year,” said Wilson. “Max has also been in the lineup for three years and wanted this opportunity as badly as anyone I have ever coached.”
Freshman Jackson Webber battled tough conditions to finish at 85, Karson Skrtich shot 94 and Brayden Staner carded a score of 100.
“I am so proud of the way these guys have performed all year with the circumstances we have been dealt with,” said Wilson. “It is just so hard to watch us be so close yet again. The boys have been so close every year, but we just haven’t had quite enough to get there.”