Griffin Brown knew his final score and Jason Marrs' final golf score would be close Tuesday at Naperville Country Club. He couldn't know they'd match.
"I knew he was a good player and I knew it was going to be close, but thankfully it worked out in my favor," said Brown, a Naperville North junior.
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Brown finished his day with a birdie for a 78, defeating Waubonsie Valley's Marrs for the McGonagle/Naperville City Championship on the tiebreaker because of that birdie on No. 18.
"The course was playing really, really tough," Brown said. "They tucked some pins back there, so it was just important to play to the middle of the greens and take your chances. I got a birdie to fall. It was my only one. I just avoided the big numbers, and it worked out."
Brown and his teammates weren't so fortunate in the team tallies, losing to Benet by a single stroke, 327-328.
"I did not think it would be that close," he said. "We had an all-right day, and Benet's a good team as well and obviously they got us by 1, so I guess that will be our motivation at the start of the season."
"There's a lot of quality teams out here," added Benet coach Dan Nagis. "It seems like every time we play these teams it comes down to only 1 or 2 strokes. That's the way golf is."
Benet was led by Alex Bassetto's 80. Ben Johnson added an 81, J.J. VanEekeren shot an 82 and Frank Ferconio counted with an 84.
"Alex Bassetto is going to be our No. 1 player all year," said Nagis, whose team also won Naperville Central's tournament to open the season Monday. "I think he's really one of the premier players in Illinois. Certainly, northern Illinois. It's a great score. He's hopefully going to lead us to a few victories this year."
Waubonsie Valley took third with a 337, followed by Neuqua Valley's 338. Metea Valley shot a 353, and Naperville Central came in with a 358.
Neuqua Valley sophomore Jessica Yuen won the girls individual championship with a 79, defeating Naperville North's Taylor Arenson and Benet's Isabella Abdulla by a stroke. Yuen matched her score from last year, but it took every bit of her off-season improvement effort to do so.
"This course is tougher every year," Yuen said. " ... I just had to keep it steady, try not to get upset every time I hit a bad shot."
Even Yuen has noticed the improvement in herself from last year.
"I've gained a lot of distance," she said. "I played bigger tournaments, played (well). ... That's my goal, to keep improving. It's all about the mental game."
Arenson led the Huskies to an easy team championship with a 345. Benet was second at 407, with Neuqua Valley coming in at 408. Metea Valley shot a 411, closely followed by Naperville Central at 412.
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