PELLA — Ethan Walker played right with one of the best golfers in Class 3A on Tuesday during the final round of the Little Hawkeye Conference regular season tournament.
Walker and Pella’s Will Simpson both shot a 75 and the Newton senior claimed medalist honors at a wet Bos Landen Golf Course.
Walker’s season-best score led the Cardinals to a fourth-place finish in the final round. Newton shot a 349, edging Pella Christian by one stroke and losing to Grinnell by one shot.
“I saw a lot of promising things from our team. We had a few guys struggling early on, and yet, they did not quit,” Newton head boys golf coach Pat Riley said. “They kept a good attitude and chugged along. That is character. How one responds when things aren’t going as planned. We have three more varsity meets and then it’s really show time. I hope we rise up to the challenge.”
Walker’s 75 included seven pars, five bogeys, three birdies and an eagle on the par 4 No. 12.
Walker moved up to fifth in the overall individual standings. He finished the three-round tournament with a 243.
Simpson, who was seventh at last year’s 3A state meet, won the regular season conference title with a 227, rallying past Blake Perrin of Dallas Center-Grimes. Simpson’s final-round 75 was nine shots better than Perrin’s 84. Perrin finished with a 231 in second.
“I was super happy for Ethan. He played a great round, side-by-side one of the best players in the state on that guy’s home course and beat him for medalist honors,” Riley said. “Ethan can compete with anyone when he sets his mind to it.”
Walker and Simpson had identical cards, finishing with nine-hole splits of 38-37. Walker won a card back.
Lincoln Ergenbright had splits of 45-43 and finished with an 88. Kinnick Pritchard and Braydon Chance had identical cards with 43-50 splits for a 93.
Garret Beerends (103) and Brennan Amos (104) turned in non-counting scores.
Ergenbright’s three-round total of 253 netted him a ninth-place finish. Pritchard also finished in the top 20.
Pella put four in the top eight and won the final round with a 314. The Dutch took the overall championship with a 969.
Oskaloosa (323), Grinnell (331), Pella Christian (339), Newton (371) and Boone (381) completed the seven-team field.
Grinnell (348), Newton (349), Pella Christian (350) and Oskaloosa (353) completed the field at Bos Landen.
Pella Christian finished third overall with a 1,027. Newton was fourth with a 1,029 and Grinnell (1,041) and Oskaloosa (1,045) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Short-handed Cardinals take sixth at Grinnell Invitational
GRINNELL — Missing four of its top six varsity players, Newton placed sixth at the Grinnell Invitational on Monday.
The Cardinals were without Walker, Chance, Amos and Conner Brain due to academic commitments or sickness.
“I was happy with how we played today,” Riley said. “Going there without four of our top players I knew would be a challenge. The kids played great.”
Newton shot a 371 and was 10 strokes better than Boone at the par 70 Grinnell College Golf Course.
Waverly-Shell Rock had four in the top 10 and won the tournament with a 304. Des Moines Christian put two in the top three to take second with a 313.
Oskaloosa (323), Grinnell (331),Pella Christian (339), Newton (371) and Boone (381) completed the seven-team field.
Pritchard finished eighth overall with a career-best 80. He had nine-hole splits of 41-39.
“Kinnick Pritchard, who had the team low score, had his best round ever for us. I was really happy for him,” Riley said.
Ergenbright wound up in the top 20 with an 84. He had splits of 44-40. The other two counting scores came from Beerends (100) and Colin Cummins (107). A.J. Currie (113) and Peyton Rozendaal (123) had non-counting scores.
Cummins, Currie and Rozendaal all made their varsity 18-hole debuts.
Des Moines Christian’s Jake Weissenburger shot a 71 to win medalist honors. Waverly-Shell Rock’s Hogan Hansen carded a 71 to take the runner-up.
Seven golfers in the tournament shot lower than 80.