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updated: 8/27/2012 10:23 PM

Warner powers St. Viator to title

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  • Antioch golfer Eric Pascual reacts after missing his putt on the 13th hole during invitational action at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.

       Antioch golfer Eric Pascual reacts after missing his putt on the 13th hole during invitational action at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington golfer Greg Conrad hits a shot out of the woods on the first hole during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.

       Barrington golfer Greg Conrad hits a shot out of the woods on the first hole during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Antioch golfer Grant Smith lines up his putt on the 11th hole during invitational action at Biltmore Country Club on Monday. Lake Zurich golfer Adam Schulte is behind him.

       Antioch golfer Grant Smith lines up his putt on the 11th hole during invitational action at Biltmore Country Club on Monday. Lake Zurich golfer Adam Schulte is behind him.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • St. Viator's Luke DeTrempe tees off on the second hole during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.

       St. Viator's Luke DeTrempe tees off on the second hole during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Max Kelly chips onto the green at No. 1 during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.

       St. Charles East's Max Kelly chips onto the green at No. 1 during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Hoffman Estates golfer Matt De Carlo tees off at No. 11 during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.

       Hoffman Estates golfer Matt De Carlo tees off at No. 11 during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville golfer Billy Knutson makes a shot at No. 9 during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.

       Libertyville golfer Billy Knutson makes a shot at No. 9 during invitational play at Biltmore Country Club on Monday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent

Don't try to pin down St. Viator freshman golfer Liam Warner.

His teammates have tried and they're all over the place age-wise.

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"They say he has the golf game of a college player," Lions boys golf coach Jack Halpin said after Monday's Barrington Invitational at Biltmore Country Club. "They also say he dresses like a 30-year-old and talks like a 40-year-old."

Warner, a teen, played like a medalist in magnificent weather conditions Monday, shooting a 3-over 74 to pace St. Viator to the team title (316). One of Barrington's two teams in the 11-team field, Barrington I, finished with a 330 for runner-up honors. Barrington II and Libertyville tied for third place with 332s.

Warner is having an August to remember. At the Redbird invite in Normal two weekends ago, he and junior teammate Robert Renner each shot a 3-under 68, with Renner emerging as medalist after a scorecard tiebreaker. St. Viator also won the team championship down there with a school-record 282 -- bettering the previous mark by 5 strokes set by the 2008 club.

All that team did was go undefeated in the regular season and skip to the IHSA state title.

On Monday, Warner birdied holes 2, 8 and 15 and tamed most of Biltmore's challenging greens.

"The course is fantastic," he said. "But the contours on some of the greens tough, very tough; a good six, maybe seven, have false fronts."

Not too long ago the rookie's main worry was arriving to his classes on time at St. Viator.

"That was my main focus early on, plotting out routes throughout the building to make sure I wasn't late for any of them," Warner said.

The latter part of Greg Conrad's round Monday was considerably better than his front nine. Barrington's top Bronco -- touring the course for Barrington I -- shot a runner-up 77 (41-36). The senior went 1-under in his final three holes.

"I put myself in better positions after a slow start," said Conrad, adding it was a perfect day (warm with a slight breeze) for golf. "I was happy with my back nine because there were some tough shots out there."

Libertyville's Billy Knutson also carded a second-place 77. Monday's round was his baptismal trip around Biltmore, and he appeared thankful he didn't need a surfboard to negotiate some of the club's treacherous greens.

"Undulations, so many undulations," the Wildcat said after shooting par on 12 holes and bogeying the others. "Crazy. But I enjoyed playing the course."

Viator, again, boasts a crazy-good unit. Renner (78) and Lions senior Luke DeTrempe (79) joined Warner in the top 10 on Monday. The Lions won by 14 strokes without one of its best players. Junior Hudson Luthringshausen -- who, with a surname like that, must have a superb long game -- is nursing a sore wrist.

Barrington also received top-10 efforts from Brad Powell (79), Joey Batliner (81) and Connor Maytnier (81).

"We're a work in progress," said Broncos coach Mike Kallenbach, not thrilled but not disappointed in his boys' results Monday. "I'm not worried at this point in the season. I want to see how we're playing a month from now. You worry then if your team is not playing well.

"In my heart I feel we have a very good team."

Hersey (342) edged Antioch (343) for fifth place behind 85s from Grant Manno and Nick Starkman. Eric Pascual led Antioch with a 10th-place 82, 1 stroke better than teammate Grant Smith's round.

Crystal Lake Central (345), Prairie Ridge (346), St. Charles East (347), Lake Zurich (365) and Hoffman Estates (381) also competed on Monday.

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