The individual championship of the Larkin Varsity Boys Golf Invitational at the Highlands of Elgin was decided in a playoff for the second time in three years Wednesday.
Burlington Central junior Matt Weber, who won the Larkin Invite in a playoff as a freshman and finished second as a sophomore, forced the extra hole with a three-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to tie Wheaton Warrenville South sophomore Bailey Dahlquist. Each golfer carded a 71 on the plush, par-72 links course, 4 shots better than six players tied for third.
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However, it was Dahlquist who prevailed after the talented duo replayed No. 10, a 369-yard, par-4. Each player missed the green with his second shot, but each chipped his third within range of a par putt.
Weber putted first and narrowly missed his four-footer for bogey. Dahlquist then sank a six-foot putt with a two-inch, right-to-left break to wrap up the individual title.
"It was a fun day out there," Dahlquist said. "The whole course was in great condition. I think the course provided a lot of aid to us all out there. Everything was just flowing for me."
Most players would be thrilled after shooting 71. Not Weber, who criticized aspects of his own play.
"I hit it well off the tee and I kept it in play, other than hitting into the water on No. 2," Weber said. "Besides that, I didn't hit anything particularly well. I didn't putt that great, which showed (in the playoff). Everything was just mediocre. It was the wrong time to display that."
Dahlquist's 71 helped Wheaton Warrenville South claim the title of the 24-team invite. The Tigers shot 310, a stroke better than Palatine's 311. Batavia finished third (315), followed by Marmion (318) and Burlington Central (318).
"It was a great win for the team," said Dahlquist, who was backed by Will Kelly (76), Tommy Doyle (79) and Christian Westergaard (84). "It was a confidence booster for everybody. It wasn't just a win for me; it'll help team morale and make everything good for the team this year."
Earning a second-place trophy at an invite was a big step for Palatine, which shaved 7 strokes off Tuesday's performance at Glendale Lakes. The Pirates were led Matt Lynch and Will Baumgartner. Both seniors shot 75. They were supported by Sean Tempue (80) and Tim Klein (81).
"A 311 is our best score this year," Lynch said. "I left a couple of shots on the course, but 75? I'll take it."
"The guys have put in a lot of time over the last couple of years, and I think today was a good visual of that," Palatine coach Mark Johnson said. "They finally got to see what all their hard work can do. We got a trophy, which we haven't done at an invite for a long time. That's what we want. We're going in the right direction."
Batavia's Jon Huasta was the low man for the third-place Bulldogs with a 75.
"It's really good that we can play well in such a big tournament early on," Huasta said. "I'm really confident with the squad. I think we're going to do really good this year."