Girls golf: Roosevelt edges Ottumwa at Cedar Creek

Apr. 19—OTTUMWA — Three of the final four holes on the front nine at Cedar Creek Golf Course are every bit as long as a par 5 can be.

The get the ball in range to be putting for a birdie on either the sixth, seventh and ninth holes takes two perfects strikes.

In her first competitive meet for the Ottumwa High School girls golf team at Cedar Creek, Bradlie McWilliams found those two perfect strikes to cover the 400 yards between the tee box and the green on Wednesday. From just off the green, McWilliams used her putter to cover the remaining distance rolling in an impressive eagle as part of a career day for the Bulldog freshman during a home quadrangular with Des Moines Roosevelt, Oskaloosa and Sigourney.

"I started with a pretty nice drive and hit a pretty nice approach shot into the green. It left me with about a 20-30 foot putt that went right in," McWilliams said. "I thought I'd probably be a little bit short of the green for my third shot. It's my first-ever eagle. It was pretty exciting."

The first career eagle led to a career-best round on Wednesday for McWilliams, who brought in Ottumwa's second-lowest score of the meet and the fourth-lowest overall score among the four teams competing. The 50 on the front nine at Cedar Creek gave the Bulldogs a chance to knock off Roosevelt in an early-season battle for the Iowa Alliance Conference's south division regular-season lead.

The Roughriders, however, posted two of the three best scores in the meet including a round of 40 by Savannah Song that earned individual medalist honors for the lowest round. Roosevelt finished with a team score of 195, edging Ottumwa by seven strokes.

"It's just about the score I thought would be the score needed to win. Coach (Kyle) Creamer had talked earlier in the day and felt like 200 or lower was what it was going to to take," Ottumwa head girls golf coach Ryan Morgan said. "We were right there with a 202. Roosevelt just edged us up at Briarwood (in the second-opening Ankeny Centennial Jaguar Invitational) and they just got us again here. We would have loved to have the win, but shooting 202 with several girls that shot their best nine-hole scores is what we're really looking at."

Ottumwa continued to make strides on Thursday in the second of three consecutive days of competition, finishing third out of 11 teams at the Oskaloosa Invitational. The Bulldogs posted an 18-hole score of 401, edging Grinnell by two strokes at Edmundson Golf Course with career low rounds from Makayla Brown and McWilliams leading the charge.

Brown, coming off a round of 44 on Wednesday at Cedar Creek, broke 90 in an 18-hole meet for the first time in her career on Thursday posting a round of 89 finishing just six strokes behind Norwalk freshman Evelyn Kinney for medalist honors. McWilliams, after posting her best nine-hole score on Wednesday, became the fourth Ottumwa golfer this year to break 100 in an 18-hole tournament with a career-best round of 98 again posting Ottumwa's second-best individual score.

"That's really big for Bradlie for her to break 100 during her freshman year," Morgan said. "We knew there would be some tough teams. If you were ranking the teams at Oskaloosa, third is about where we'd finish."

Norwalk won the team title with an impressive score of 358, beating out Little Hawkeye Conference rival Pella by 25 shots. The depth of the Bulldogs was on full display with Mackenzie Adkins, competing for the Ottumwa junior varsity, producing the third-best score of any Bulldog golfer in the tournament with a 101 edging senior teammate Reese Bradford, Ottumwa's third-lowest varsity scorer, by two strokes.

"I think we're a better team this year and we're capable of finishing near the top of several leaderboards," Morgan said. "If we're shooting 400 or less, no matter where we finish, I'm happy to see that steady improvement."

Albia finished fifth on Thursday in Oskaloosa with a team score of 420, edging South Central Conference rival Centerville by seven strokes. Emma Kipfer finished near the top of the individual leaderboard for the Lady Dees with a round of 88 while Matty Kovacevich matched Brown with a round of 89 to pace the sixth-place Redettes.

"I'm proud of our girls. We didn't have a lot of time to practice before the start of the season because of the weather being how it was," Centerville head girls golf coach Matt Kovacevich said. "Our three and our four have never played golf. Our five hasn't played a lot of varsity golf. The scores they're putting in makes us confident moving forward."

Sigourney finished third on Wednesday at Cedar Creek, edging Oskaloosa out by 18 strokes finishing with a team score of 221. Emma Hammes and Lana Thomas posted matching rounds of 52, fifth-best among all golfers in the quadrangular, to pace the Savages.

"For a younger group to come in here and have three scores in the 50s gives us some confidence," Sigourney head girls golf coach Zach Tremmel said. "If you look at being in the 220 range, that's going to be in contention to win the (South Iowa Cedar League) tournament. If we can shoot around a 440, we've got a chance to win a conference title and possibly advance in regionals.

"I like where our team is at right now. We're making some gains."


Oskaloosa Invitational

At Edmundson Golf Course


1. Norwalk 358, 2. Pella 383, 3. Ottumwa 401, 4. Grinnell 403, 5. Albia 420, 6. Centerville 427, 7. Mount Pleasant 430, 8. Oskaloosa 431, 9. Knoxville 440, 10. Washington 453, 11. Winterset 469.

Medalist — Evelyn Kinney (Norwalk) 83.

Runner-up — Faith Roozenboom (Knoxville) 85.

Ottumwa individuals — Makayla Brown 89, Bradlie McWilliams 98, Reese Bradford 103, Olivia Tippie 111, Peyton Callas 118, Madison Novak 118.

Albia individuals — Emma Kipfer 88, Lucy Hassinen 107, Brianna Wolfer 109, Emma Doll 116, Madalyn Jones 121, Aubrey Major 124.

Centerville individuals — Matty Kovavevich 89, Gracie Zaputil 104, Rylee Shilling 115, Olivia Thompkins 119, Sophie Zintz 147.

Ottumwa JV individuals — Mackenzie Adkins 101, Peyton Harness 105, Laney Short 114, Josie Aljets 120, Lori Reynolds 122, Brynn Small 137.

— Scott Jackson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.