Dillon Burr has already joined a select group of golfers.
The Linn-Mar senior is one of just nine Metro state champions, dating back to when Cedar Rapids Franklin’s Tom Crabbe and George Beals finished as part of a three-way tie for medalist honors in 1948.
He could move into a category of his own by becoming the Metro’s first two-time champion.
He is just as excited to have company in competition.
“I’m really happy the whole team will get to go to state, this year,” Burr said. “Golf is always an individual sport. I can’t affect how my teammates are going to play, but I’ve grown up with these guys and played golf with them for so long that I like to see them succeed.
“It would be cool if we all have some good rounds at state and go out with a bang our senior year.”
Burr will have a chance to defend his title and the Lions will make their first team appearance since 2016 in the Class 4A boys’ state golf meet at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. The first round begins Friday at 10:30 a.m. and the final round starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.
“I think no matter where we play, no matter who we play against, I’d take Dillon Burr over anybody right now,” Linn-Mar Coach Chris James said after Burr tied for first in last week’s CRANDIC meet. “It is just my confidence with him as a coach.”
Burr is putting a cap on a stellar prep career. He became Linn-Mar’s first state champ, shooting 4-over and winning by six strokes a year ago. He also claimed two Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet titles and earned two straight MVC divisional Athlete of Year honors.
“He’s a great kid,” James said. “He works hard at his game. He’s a perfectionist. He really doesn’t have a weakness.”
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James has noted that Burr isn’t flashy, but is one of the most consistent golfers he has coached. Golf can be a fickle game, but Burr’s mental approach has allowed him to maintain poise and compartmentalize each shot throughout a round.
Socializing during a round helps Burr clear his mind. Keeping the right frame of mind will be vital to perform well this weekend.
“It takes my mind off the game itself,” Burr said. “I know seeing my teammates at any point in a round I have some good laughs and forget about any bad shots I’ve hit. That’s why it’s cool to have the team out there. Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to our guys and just have fun.”
Drew Muilenburg, Carter Vieth, Caden Postma, Cole Weber and Max Wolfe helped Linn-Mar return to state for the first time since placing fourth before the seniors joined the program. They earned a spot with a third-place district finish. A strong team performance will be just as satisfying as an individual accomplishment.
“I’m definitely going to do my best, individually,” Burr said. “If the team does well and I don’t, I’ll still be really happy. It’s kind of a win both ways.”
His teammates won’t be the only familiar faces at the course. His parents, Larry and Lori, will be in attendance. They have played an important role, providing opportunities, traveling to summer events and encouraging him from the start.
They will be there to follow him for the final two varsity rounds.
“They’ve been supportive my whole golf life,” Burr said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere near who I am without either of my parents. I really want to make them proud at this last meet.”
Cedar Rapids Xavier will make its fourth straight state appearance, while Cedar Rapids Prairie will make the program’s second overall. Cedar Rapids Kennedy freshman Reid Hall will compete as an individual.
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Class 4A boys’ state golf tournament
When: Friday at 10:30 a.m.; Saturday at 9 a.m.
Where: Des Moines Golf and Country Club
Live scoring: Iowa PGA BlueGolf
Defending team champion: Waukee
Defending medalist: Dillon Burr, Linn-Mar
Gazette area team qualifiers (last state appearance): Cedar Rapids Prairie (2017), Cedar Rapids Xavier (2019) and Linn-Mar (2016)
Gazette area individual qualifier: Reid Hall, Cedar Rapids Kennedy
Cedar Rapids Prairie lineup: Carson Slezak, Payton Burns, Tanner Wachtl, Justin Valde, Isaac Meyer, Carson Smith
Cedar Rapids Xavier lineup: Matthew Schmit, Charlie Allen, Clayton Nurre, Ryan Schmit, Garrett Nurre, Quincey Johnson
Linn-Mar lineup: Dillon Burr, Drew Muilenburg, Carter Vieth, Caden Postma, Cole Weber, Max Wolfe, Matthew Buse (sub)
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