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updated: 8/13/2012 9:36 PM

St. Viator's Renner rises to the task

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By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald correspondent

Robert Renner didn't let the soggy beginning to the boys prep golf season bother him in the slightest.

As a matter of fact, he relished the conditions.

"I enjoy playing in the rain," said the St. Viator junior after firing a spectacular 2-under par 70 to take medalist honors in less-than-stellar conditions at the Rolling Green Invitational in Arlington Heights.

"I'm excited," added Renner, who said his score could have been even lower if he hadn't "lipped out" five potential birdie putts.

"I couldn't have asked for a better start."

Also defeating the elements -- as the golfers played almost the entire day in what ranged from a drizzle to a downpour -- were Prospect and Stevenson.

Both teams finished the day with a score of 303 with the Knights taking second place on a tiebreaker while the Patriots finished third.

Glenbrook North won the tournament with a tally of 291, with Patriots senior Reed Aren taking home the second-place individual medal by carding a 71.

"Reed is a very strong player," said Stevenson coach John Rueth, "and Jack Spellman and Tim Kim also were great today."

"The thing that impresses me most about all the guys on our team is that they're not only good players but also very nice men," Rueth added. "They're well mannered and treat everyone with respect, and it's very cool to coach kids like that."

Prospect counted four scores in the 70s as Jeff Blethen (73, 5th place), Josh Johnson (76), Joey Corrado (77) and Tyler Yarwood (77) all contributed to the Knights' success at the traditional boys season-kickoff invite.

Viator, which finished fourth overall with a team total of 310, received a boost when senior Luke DeTrempe fired a 73 to tie Blethen for fifth.

DeTrempe said this year's Lions team definitely has a chance to make it back to the state championship tourney at the "Den" in Bloomington, where Viator won three consecutive state titles between 2008-2010.

"We've got the potential," said DeTrempe. "We've got to play consistently and eliminate the 'bad days' and we'll be fine."

Two other local golfers made it a medal-winning Monday as Spellman and Kenny Mleko of host Hersey both shot 74 to tie for eighth.

Jack Ferguson of Wheeling and Fremd's Jamie Drost each shot 75, while senior Dan Wojtowicz of Rolling Meadows saw his summertime success carry over to the high school season.

Wojtowicz, who won 4 of the 15 IJGA tourneys he competed in this summer, finished with a 76.

"I was right there with them (the leaders) through 11 holes," said Wojtowicz, "but then after the rain started coming down a little harder I went bogey-double bogey, and I struggled thereafter.

"This season is my last shot to get to state," added the senior. "That's why I played every day during the summer."

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