Suazo, Wheaton North prevail in DVC
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Mike Pribaz paced Bartlett Hills' clubhouse like an expectant father Thursday afternoon as the scores were being posted for the DuPage Valley Conference tournament.
But Michael Suazo, one of 10 juniors on the Wheaton North boys golf team, had a pleasant surprise for his coach.
Suazo toured the Bartlett course in level-par 71 and made a four-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th hole to deny Naperville North senior Michael Doherty in a sudden-death playoff for medalist honors.
Even more important, Suazo shaved 9 strokes off the Falcons' team total.
Wheaton North, which entered the tournament in a three-way tie with Naperville North and Wheaton Warrenville South for league supremacy, captured its first conference championship in eight years with a 307-309 triumph over Naperville North.
WW South, the early leaders in the clubhouse behind sophomore twins Sean and Brian McCaffrey, was third at 312.
Naperville Central was a distant fourth, followed by Lake Park, Glenbard North, West Aurora and Glenbard East.
"I knew Mike was doing something special," Pribaz said. "Like a pitcher throwing a no-hitter, I wanted to stay away from him (while he played)."
Charlie Fassbinder (77) and Caleb Wiese (79) were also in the top nine for the Falcons.
Suazo hit a 2-iron from nearly 250 yards in his playoff against Doherty, and the junior needed to convert after the Huskies' returning state qualifier made an up-and-down out of a greenside bunker for birdie.
"My team was watching (my approach shot), and they said it almost went in for a (double eagle)," Suazo said. "(Winning the team championship) was the goal coming in. To win individual is just a bonus."
The Falcons ended the four-year championship reign of Naperville North with their triumph on Thursday.
"They were definitely deeper than we were this year," Naperville North coach Ryan Hantak said of Wheaton North, which also snapped the Huskies' nearly five-year conference dual-match run during the regular season. "Obviously we would have liked to have won to keep the streak going. We'll be back next year."
Doherty had 4 birdies on his inward-nine to offset a front-nine 3-over 38.
"I drained a lot of good putts," Doherty said. "I started hitting my irons better (on the back). I also played smarter."
The Tigers' McCaffrey twins anchored WW South from their sixth and seventh slots with a combined 153.
"I knew in entering the back side we were gaining some momentum," WW South coach Jimmy Selleck said. "We've got to come back swinging (at the Class 3A York regional on Tuesday)."
Glenbard North sophomore Nick Brady was third overall with a solid 2-over 73.
"It's the best I have played in the conference championship so far," Brady said. "I left a couple of strokes out there to miss the playoff."
Griffin Brown (Naperville North), Will Kelly (WW South) and Kurt Krejci were the other top-10 DVC place-winners.
The final West Aurora appearance in the conference championship produced a collective effort that coach Jay Bauer has witnessed throughout the Blackhawks' 18-hole tournament schedule this fall.
West Aurora fired a 352 as its lone regular-season conference victory came at the expense of Glenbard East.
"No surprises," said Bauer, whose 2007 conference championship team was the last boys squad from West Aurora to win a league title in any sport. "That's what we shoot. I thought there were hard conditions."
Mike Golich, the Blackhawks' top-rated player all season, had a bedeviling day off the tee.
"I only hit two fairways the whole day," said Golich, who led the Blackhawks with an 85. "I was scrapping around for pars all day. I kind of lost my swing (during the round). I had a slice come out of nowhere."
Priya Teerakanog, a foreign-exchange student from Thailand, was the Blackhawks' second-lowest scorer with an 87.
Trent Jackson, Daniel Waters and Daniel Newsome all fired 90s to account for the final two counting scores.
Skip Ulrich, a fixture in the Blackhawks' underclass girls and boys golf programs for 14 years, coached the frosh-soph team for the final time on Thursday.
This article filed under
- Carol Stream
- Glendale Heights
- Hanover Park
- North Aurora
- Sugar Grove
- West Chicago
- Wood Dale
- Glenbard East High School
- Glenbard North High School
- Lake Park High School
- Naperville Central High School
- Naperville North High School
- West Aurora High School
- Wheaton North High School
- Wheaton Warrenville South High School
- Prep Boys
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