No returning starters. No problem.
Linn-Mar reloaded with a new lineup of golfers.
The Lions earned a runner-up finish and sophomore Dillon Burr claimed medalist honors at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet on Thursday at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls.
Linn-Mar shot 318, finishing 23 strokes back of the host Tigers. Cedar Rapids Xavier was third, winning a tiebreaker after matching Cedar Rapids Washington’s 322.
All six Lions golfers shot 87 or better, including Burr’s 1-under par 71. Sophomores Drew Muilenburg and Carter Vieth added 81 and 82, respectively. Senior duo Seth Lukefahr and Zack Hofmann tied at 84 to round out the team score.
“I’m very happy,” Linn-Mar Coach Chris James told The Gazette in a phone interview after the meet. “We have three sophomores who are capable of shooting pretty low scores.
“I wouldn’t say I was shocked. I was pleasantly surprised with how some of the other guys, especially the two seniors, who played JV (junior varsity) meets last year, held themselves together and competed. I was pleased with their effort.”
Burr, who won his age group at the Iowa Junior Amateur Championship in Ames Wednesday, was the lone golfer to break par. Burr shot 1-under on the front nine, carding a birdie on the par-4 seventh hole. He added a birdie on No. 17, coming in at even par.
“He keeps plugging along,” James said. “He’s just very consistent. He’s very solid in everything he does.”
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Burr edged Cedar Rapids Washington’s Connor Neighbors by one stroke. Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Brock Barnhart tied for third with 73. Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Ian Johnston tied for fifth with 74. Max Henderson led the Saints with a 75, placing ninth.
“There is a lot of top-level talent in our conference,” James said. “To be the only guy under par really shows he is very capable.”
The Lions have an eight-stroke lead on Dubuque Wahlert, going into two divisional meets to determine the Valley Division champion and all-conference teams. Dubuque Hempstead was 10 strokes back.
“They have to keep working hard,” James said. “Enjoy today but tomorrow we have to get back to work.
“It’s a constant process. No one has mastered this game and there is a reason why, so we have to keep working hard to get better.”
Cedar Falls leads both Washington and Xavier by 27 strokes entering Mississippi divisional meets.
Iowa City Liberty and Western Dubuque made their MVC debuts, making it a 16-team field. The Bobcats finished ninth with 339. The Lightning placed 13th with 383.
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