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updated: 9/15/2012 4:53 PM

Wheeling's Ferguson in fine form at Chevy Chase

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  • Wheeling's Jack Ferguson tees off on No. 5 on his way to a stellar 68 during the Wheeling Invitational at Chevy Chase on Saturday.

       Wheeling's Jack Ferguson tees off on No. 5 on his way to a stellar 68 during the Wheeling Invitational at Chevy Chase on Saturday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyvilles's Peter Henderson tees off on No. 4 at the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday at Chevy Chase.

       Libertyvilles's Peter Henderson tees off on No. 4 at the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday at Chevy Chase.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Max Kelly tees off on hole No. 4 at the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday.

       St. Charles East's Max Kelly tees off on hole No. 4 at the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Dan Sheperd taps in his short putt on the second hole at the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday.

       St. Charles North's Dan Sheperd taps in his short putt on the second hole at the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Jack Spellman chips on the green at No. 5 during the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday.

       Stevenson's Jack Spellman chips on the green at No. 5 during the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Greg Conrad hits out of a sand trap on No. 4 during the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday.

       Barrington's Greg Conrad hits out of a sand trap on No. 4 during the Wheeling Invitational on Saturday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent

Wheeling senior Jack Ferguson's score was the first one posted on the results board at Saturday's 24-team Wildcats Invitational.

It also proved to be the winning one.

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In what coach Mark Menich called "possibly the best 18-hole round in Wheeling school history," Ferguson rocked the Chevy Chase course with a 4-under par 68 to earn individualist medalist honors.

Glenbrook North took home the team trophy with a 288, the first time any squad has shot in the 280's in the well-established tourney.

"This was simply his day," said Menich of soft-spoken senior Ferguson, a four-year varsity player. "He came out and showed his athleticism and his potential. He's not only one of the better golfers in the Mid-Suburban League, but also in the area -- and outside of the area as well."

Amazingly, Ferguson said he could have scored even better had he not "missed four easy putts."

"It could have been really special," said the senior. "But I'll take it. It's still one of my best rounds ever."

"I just played solid," added Ferguson. "It was awesome out here today. This is one of the most competitive tournaments in the state, and I always say it brings out the best of the best."

Ferguson played in a stellar threesome along with Barrington senior Greg Conrad and Max Kelly of St. Charles East.

Conrad's 73 helped lead Barrington (300) to third place, while Kelly was not happy with his score of 79 but said he still enjoyed the competition.

"It was a lot fun playing with these guys," said Kelly. "I was just a little frustrated because I was not able to do as well."

The Saints' Kyle Jacobs carded a 77, while St. Charles North golfer Dan Shepherd was best for the Stars with a 77 in the picture-perfect conditions.

"Not good," said Shepherd when asked to describe his day. "I got around the course OK, but a couple of doubles (double-bogeys) hurt me.

"The last couple of years it's been raining out here -- today was dry, and that made the greens incredibly fast."

The tremendous season for Prospect continued unabated at Chevy Chase as Josh Johnson (71, seventh-place individual medal) led the way to a second-place finish for the Knights with a 299.

Ryan Maloney (73), Jeff Blethen (76) and Grant Gavin (79) also counted scores for Prospect, while Nick Schippel from the MSL rival Broncos blistered the course with an even-par 72 to take home the 10th-place medal.

Libertvyille's Peter Henderson, playing his first-ever round on the difficult Wheeling course, tamed Chevy Chase with a 70 to tie for the second-best overall score and claim the fourth-place medal (on tiebreaker).

"This is one of the best scores of my life," said Henderson, who had 6 birdies. "I was hitting the ball well and making some good putts."

Jack Spellman (73) and Reed Aren (74) led Stevenson to a sixth-place result, while Ryan White had a 76 for Elk Grove.

Will Denman shot 73 for Wheaton Warrenville South, and Hudson Luthringshausen, only back recently after suffering a broken hand, carded a 74 to help Saint Viator (302) to fourth place.

Luthringshausen wasn't able to pick up a club for a couple of weeks due to the injury but says his game is just about back to normal.

"It doesn't really hurt when I'm swinging," said the junior, "but I do feel it a little afterward."

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