Three years ago, as a freshman, Raymond Knoll shot an 80 at his first appearance at the Buffalo Grove Invitational.
Not a bad score for a frosh -- but Knoll, now a senior at Naperville North, said that he "had that score in the back of his mind" as he teed off at Saturday's BG tourney.
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Maybe it provided a bit inspiration as Knoll tore up the course en route to a 33-35-68 and medalist honors at the invite at Buffalo Grove Golf Course.
"My ball-striking held me together today," said the senior, who won at what has morphed into one of the top tournaments in the state.
"We've grown into 16 teams competing," said BG coach Peter Duffer, "and that includes some of the top teams in the state. Many of the coaches tell me that this is the most competitive tournament they play in all year, and that means a lot.
"It's exciting when you seen some of the same golfers who play here compete later in the year at the state tournament."
Knoll's round included two eagles, including an almost double-eagle at the the 486-yard second hole, when his second shot just hung on the edge of the hole.
The senior, who also added three birdies to his spectacular round, is exhilirated about playing next year at Iowa, where he had committed.
"The coach is great," said Knoll, "and the facilities are great. It's going to be exciting."
Knoll's current coach, Naperville North's Ryan Hantak, appreciates the effort the senior has given to the Huskies over the past four years.
"He's definitely one of the top two players in the state," said Hantak, "but what impresses me most is that he's a great kid both on and off the golf course. If you ask teachers, students, teammates, anyone, they'll tell you what a nice kid he his."
Lake Forest won the team trophy with a score of 293, while Stevenson (300) was 2nd and Glenbrook North (301) finished third.
The Patriots' Reed Aren fired a 72, good for a second place tie individually with Zach Isoda (Fremd) and Nick Jan (Glenbrook North).
Other stellar local scores included a 75 from Bobby Snader of Libertyville and a 76 by Jack Spellman of Stevenson.
Fremd's Gibsyn Martin and Dylan Norys excelled with scores of 77; Grant Manno of Hersey also shot 77; Ryan White was best for Elk Grove with a 78; Zach Nauert of Wheeling fired an 80; while Matt Froemming of the host Bison carded an 82.