The golfing gods can be so cruel at times.
The Batavia boys golf team has been virtually invincible at its home venue, Fox Valley Golf Club in North Aurora, in recent weeks.
But the Bulldogs' seven consecutive dual-match wins to begin the season were meaningless to West Suburban Silver rivals Hinsdale Central and Lyons Township on Saturday.
Hinsdale Central, with three of the top-four individuals, including medalist David Whinery, who had 6 birdies en route to a 3-under par 69, captured its first victory in five tries against the Lions in head-to-head competition this season with a 3-over 291 total.
Reigning Class 3A state runner-up Lyons finished with a 295, well in front of third-place Marmion, which edged St. Charles North on the fifth card after the schools had matching 308s in regulation.
"I thought we would have played better," Batavia coach Tim DeBruycker said after Jon Hvasta was one of only 12 Batavia players -- the Bulldogs had two squads competing -- to break 80.
The Bulldogs' Gold team finished in 12th place with a 320.
"The depth of the field is very strong," DeBruycker said.
Like St. Charles North, Marmion had all four counting scores in the 70s.
Considering how Liam Creamer began his day in the shotgun start, the Marmion senior could never have anticipated a 78.
The fourth hole at Fox Valley is infested with out-of-bounds hazards; Creamer began his round with three consecutive tee shots on the wrong side of the white stakes.
Suffering a 10 on the hole, Creamer proceeded to double-bogey his next hole, the always difficult par-4 fifth.
But Creamer summoned his innermost effort, playing his final 16 holes in 2-under par.
"I made a par with the fourth ball," Creamer quipped of his disastrous opening hole. "I ended up having 5 birdies after that. I have never had such an up-and-down round in my life. It was crazy to be 8-over after two holes."
Joe Fritz, the top-rated player for defending Class 2A state runner-up Marmion, had a 75 to lead the Cadets.
Luke Hoss, a promising freshman for Marmion, continued his strong play with a 76; Brett Koskinen rounded out the Cadets' scorecard with a 79.
"I'm very happy with the way the guys performed," Marmion coach Doug Roberts said.
St. Charles North had identical scores from its top-four athletes.
Raghav Cherala, Dan Shepherd, Jim McAleese and Matt Samuelson had respective rounds of 75, 76, 78 and 79 for the North Stars.
"They have played well in all of their 18-hole tournaments," DeBruycker said of the last viable challenge his team faces for an unblemished Upstate Eight Conference River regular season.
St. Charles East also needed a fifth card to finish ahead of Batavia after the two teams ended regulation with 320 totals.
The Saints' Max Kelly had the low round among local players as his 73 was good for eighth-place overall after he found himself on the wrong end of a scorecard playoff among three other competitors for fifth place.
"There are a lot of (scoring) opportunities out there," Kelly said of three reachable par-5s and short par-4s at Fox Valley. "I wasn't missing many greens (in regulation). I had a lot of pars, just wasn't making any birdies."
Like Hvasta, whose 75 was the low score for Batavia, Kelly had none of his teammates break 80.
Jonathan Hunecke had a 79 to flavor the 22nd-place West Aurora (332), while Kaneland came in at 336 behind the 81 from Matt Yonkovich.
Nick Romero was the low man for Aurora Christian (385).
"I wasn't surprised or disappointed," West Aurora coach Jay Bauer said. "We have a lot of guys who shoot about the same score."
"During the season you're going to have a match or a tournament where your guys don't play very well," Kaneland coach Mark Meyer said. "We didn't turn in a very good score as a team today."
With the three West Suburban Silver heavyweights -- Lyons, Hinsdale Central and Oak Park-River Forest (all of whom qualified for the team state tournament last fall) -- in the field, Naperville North was the fourth program at Batavia returning a squad with a large-school state pedigree.
But the Huskies were missing their star senior, Raymond Knoll, the Iowa-bound reigning state amateur champion, who was taking the ACT exam.
"It was a good experience for our kids to play without Ray," Naperville North coach Ryan Hantak said.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.