Boys golf: Consistent efforts lift Stevenson to second in Lake County invite
Stevenson might have a different perspective this season, but it doesn't seem to bothering the Patriots' boys golf team.
A combination of young golfers and others with more experience battled their way through some windy conditions on Monday afternoon. Their efforts were good enough for second place in the Lake County Invitational behind champion Lake Forest (301) at Shepherd's Crook Golf Course in Zion.
Stevenson earned runner-up honors with 325, which was matched by Highland Park. But the Patriots broke the tie with their fifth score, edging the Giants by 3 strokes (86-89).
"The team we have is very consistent, where the fifth and sixth players played very well," Stevenson coach John Rueth said. "From one to six, we really don't know who's going to be the low player on the day. I wish the scores were lower, but Lake Forest played awesome. To me, anything below 80 was an awesome score."
Freshman Jackson Bussell led Stevenson with an 80, and Kameran Sandhu carded an 81. Jake Lebow and Kevin Chin each had 82s. Zach Orlowsky had an 86, and Jedidiah Jhu shot 88.
"It was a really windy day," Bussell said. "It was hard to hit shots straight. You just had to be consistent with your shots to put you in good positions -- especially with all the fescue, which made it pretty hard out there."
Lake Forest had its best team score in their third invitational in a little over a week. The Scouts had previously played at Wynstone and Bull Valley, but on Monday they managed to get four of their six scores in the 70s.
"It was a great day for us," Lake Forest coach James Matheson said. "These scores, I was not expecting us to shoot. I think playing in those (invites) gave them a lot of confidence in some awfully tough conditions."
Sophomore Connor Pollender was the top medalist, getting past his teammate Scott Frevert after a one-hole playoff. Pollender had par on the extra hole and Frevert settled for a bogey. Both players shot an amazing 2-over 73 on the 6,769-yard course.
Vernon Hills finished fourth (327) and Mundelein fifth (331) in the 16-team field.
The Cougars' Justin Park shot 75, good for third place. He had a 38 for the front nine and 37 on the back side. Park had just two bogeys and one double bogey, with the rest of the card showing pars.
"It was really hard to keep the ball in control," Park said. "I kept things in control and thought I had things working well. I actually looked at the weather forecast three days before. I knew the wind would be blowing hard. I know this is a links-style golf course. I did practice a lot of my low shots to be prepared."
Ryan Magee of Mundelein finished in the seventh spot with a 78. Bussell was 10th with his 80, tying with Brian Favia of Vernon Hills. Mundelein's Brett Parola and Sandhu each picked up medals by taking 12th.
"At the start you had to think about the wind," Magee said. "My gameplan totally changed. I had to keep my irons down, and I thought I did that pretty well. I was able to keep it in the fairway a lot and kept my drives low. Under these conditions, I was pretty happy with it, but I thought I could do a little bit better -- I thought I left a few strokes out there.
"This was a barometer for the bragging rights for the postseason. You always want to be near the top to be recognized as one of the best players in these conditions."