MARION — This time of year hadn’t been particularly kind to Dillon Burr.
As a freshman, he played in his first prep golf postseason after a back injury sidelined most of the season. Burr contended for a state berth a year ago, but closing with two straight bogeys left him one stroke short of qualifying.
But, this year was different and Burr left little doubt.
The Linn-Mar junior carded an eagle with two holes remaining and fired a 1-under 71 for medalist honors in a Class 4A district meet Monday at Hunters Ridge Golf Course.
Burr will advance to the state meet Friday and Saturday at Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City. He finished four strokes ahead of Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Brock Barnhart and Cedar Rapids Washington’s Whit Haefner.
“This is very special,” Burr said. “Last year was really heartbreaking for me, but to be able to come back this year and finish the deal is really nice.”
Burr overcame a slow start and returned to even par with birdies on the par-4 Nos. 3 and 7 holes. He dropped a 20-foot uphill putt to close the third.
Burr was among the leaders at 1-over and just one stroke ahead of a cluster of competitors with three holes to go. He opened the 504-yard, par-5 12th hole with a nice tee shot down the left of the fairway. The second shot was a pleasant surprise, setting up a chance for 3 and break par overall.
“I wasn’t even going for the green,” Burr said. “I pushed it and it rolled up to about 7 feet. I made a left-to-right slider for eagle.”
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The moment finally allowed Burr to take stock of his performance and what he was in position to do.
“Not until after that eagle,” Burr said about analyzing his round. “I wasn’t really thinking about much, because I started off kind of rough (bogey-bogey). The eagle turned around my mindset.”
Cedar Falls claimed the team title, shooting 312, but runner-up Cedar Rapids Washington and Cedar Rapids Kennedy also will advance to state.
The Warriors recorded a 315 for a fifth straight state meet appearance. They started the season strong and rebounded from a midseason lull. Washington Coach Dennis Goettel saw improvement in the week leading up to the postseason. The Warriors came in under what he thought was needed.
“I felt good about our chances out here today,” Goettel said. “They exceeded my expectations.”
Haefner led the way for Washington, posting 75. The Warriors' lone senior will make his third straight state appearance. Kyle Neighbors added 78, while Niles Petersen and Andrew Freeman each carded 81.
“Whit Haefner was fabulous,” said Goettel, who also praised the work of his assistant coaches Steve Penney and Bill Hoefle, preparing the Warriors. “I think one thing that really helped us is we had four kids that played in the district tournament last year. There’s a lot of pressure. Everybody knew this was going to be a tight team race. We had to have everybody chipping in and we did that.”
The Cougars earned their first state berth since 2014. They finished third with 321. Barnhart will make his fourth trip; he was second as a freshman and tied for fifth as a sophomore. Josh White shot 81, A.J. Corkery finished with 82 and Gannon Hall came in at 83 for Kennedy.
Western Dubuque’s Davis Stelzer shot 77 to earn one of the individual qualifying spots.
Class 4A district results
At Hunters Ridge Golf Course
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Teams (Top three qualify for state) – 1. Cedar Falls 312, 2. C.R. Washington 315, 3. C.R. Kennedy 321, 4. Western Dubuque 325, 5. Linn-Mar 330, 6. Marshalltown 337, 7. C.R. Prairie 338, 8. Dubuque Hempstead 339*, 9. Dubuque Senior 339, 10. Waterloo West 349, 11. Muscatine 352, 12. C.R. Jefferson 371, 13. Waterloo East 587.
*-Won tiebreaker with best fifth-golfer score.
Individuals – 1. Dillon Burr (LM), 71, 2. Brock Barnhart (CRK), 75**, 3. Whit Haefner (CRW), 75, 4. Jack Moody (CF), 76**, 5. Maxwell Tjoa (CF), 76.
State qualifiers – Burr (LM), 6. Cole Davis (Marsh), 77, Davis Stelzer (WD), 77.
**-Won cardback tiebreaker.
C.R. WASHINGTON (315): Haefner 75, Kyle Neighbors 78, Andrew Freeman 81, Nile Petersen 81.
C.R. KENNEDY (321): Barnhart 75, Josh White 81, A.J. Corkery 82, Gannon Hall 83.
LINN-MAR (330): Burr 71, Drew Muilenburg 82, Carter Vieth 88, Caden Postma 89.
C.R. PRAIRIE (338): Alec Brockmeyer 79, Isaac Meyer 80, Collin Brockmeyer 89, Justin Valde 90.
C.R. JEFFERSON (371): Ryan May 85, Logan Miller 87, Caleb Knight 96, Blake Hawkins 103, Tyler Schmitz 103.
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