Antioch's Alex Riedel enjoyed a heck of a stretch at Midlane Golf Resort.
Vernon Hills' boys team has been enjoying one for a while.
Led by matching 80s from senior Brian Favia and sophomore Rohan Vasudeva, Vernon Hills captured its seventh Class 2A regional championship in a row Tuesday, firing a 331 on a sunny-but-windy day in Wadsworth to hold off runner-up St. Viator by 6 strokes in the Lakes-hosted tournament. Grayslake Central (354) finished third and earned the final sectional-qualifying spot.
"Seven (regional titles) in a row?" Vasudeva said. "That's a lot. That's pretty impressive."
Riedel birdied four of his last five holes to earn medalist honors with a 7-over-par 78, giving the 5-foot-6 junior a two-shot win. Favia, Vasudeva and St. Viator's duo of Timmy Crawford and Ryan Flynn all tied for second place with 80s.
"It was electric," Riedel said of his five-hole stretch that ended with a birdie on the par-5 18th. "I couldn't feel my arms. Everything I was hitting was going in. It was a great feeling."
Favia started the day by cracking the face of his 3-wood on his first swing of the day and bogeying the first hole. That forced him to hit driver more than he wanted, but he was "pumping it," he said, and knocking the ball in the fairway, despite swirling winds that toyed with every golfer.
"It was crazy," Favia said of the windy conditions. "We played practice rounds here, and it was a completely different golf course today. I don't think I've struck it this good all year, and I shot 80. It was tough, but we knew everyone was struggling today, so we just had to keep grinding it out, and that's what we did."
Vernon Hills also counted Joey Levitan's 83 and Brendan Wise's 88. Sujay Voleti and Greg Tow checked in with a 92 and 95, respectively.
"The conditions were tough," said Vasudeva, who was happy with his 80. "The first couple of holes I couldn't adjust to the wind. It was messing with me ... But as it died down toward the end I started to get used to it."
A technicality cost St. Viator three strokes, but it didn't prove costly for the Lions. While Nolan Doherty added an 87 and Matt Firestone and Chase Metzger each carded 90s, St. Viator couldn't use E.J. Reisinger's 87 because his putts were accidentally added to each of his 18 scores. For example, instead of shooting a 4 (with 2 putts) on a par 4, it was entered as a "42."
Grayslake Central was led by 84s from Michael Sisk and Alec Novak. Tyler Hanson shot an 89, while freshman Gianni Lucchesi and Zach Wichlin each had a 97.
Riedel, whose Antioch team finished sixth (372), started his hot streak with a birdie on the par-3 14th. After a bogey, he made a 4-foot putt for birdie on the par-4 16th, birdied the par-3 17th by sinking a 30-footer and finished by draining a downhill 12-footer on No. 18.
His 5 birdies for the round tied his career best. He said he never had experienced a stretch of holes like that before.
"It's a good field," Riedel said after shooting even par on the back nine. "I know Favia from the IJGA. He's a really good player."
Others advancing to next Tuesday's Grayslake Central sectional at Stonewall Orchard Golf Club included Wauconda's Matt O'Brien (81) and Joe Hutson (93), Lakes' trio of Brad Bies (85), Adam Nuxoll (87) and Chance Andell (87) and Grayslake North's Brian Szramek (92). Hutson prevailed in a playoff for the final at-large berth.
The next time Vernon Hills tees it up, the Cougars will be seeking their fourth downstate berth in as many years. Coach Shawn Healey's squad finished third in the state last fall.
"I call it quiet confidence," said Favia, who's been a varsity contributor since his freshman year. "I'm not going to say we're better (than last year). I'm not going jinx anything. But I have confidence in these guys. I believe in them, I hope they believe in me, and we'll go from there."