Boys golf: McClear, Hinsdale Central best at Batavia
Al Green was in an ideal position to win the 18-hole individual championship.
"I was 1-under through 15 holes," said Green, a Lake Park senior.
But the Green bid for top honors at the 23-team Batavia Invitational Saturday in St. Charles at Pheasant Run evaporated over his closing stretch.
"I got two bad breaks," Green said.
Green failed to make par or better in his final three holes in settling for a 1-over 73.
Mac McClear seized his opportunity.
One of three returning members of four-time defending Class 3A state champion Hinsdale Central, McClear was a shot better than Green and highly regarded juniors Will Marshall (Kaneland) and Tyler Isenhart (Geneva) to win with a level-par 72.
Hinsdale Central had all six of its players shoot 79 or better to earn a comfortable 297-307 victory over Lake Park.
Wheaton Warrenville South was third at 309, followed by Geneva (312), Lyons Twp. (320) and Glenbard West (322).
Plainfield North, Joliet Catholic, York and Kaneland completed the top 10.
Green, who recorded 5 birdies on his round, was fourth overall to Marshall and Isenhart on the tiebreaker.
"I played pretty well, but I didn't close out (the round)," Green said.
McClear and Gabe Larson combined for a 1-over 145 to power yet another dominant Hinsdale Central victory.
"The team win is even more important to me," McClear said. "I didn't play very well today. I had a chance to go real low today, but the putts didn't drop."
Like Hinsdale Central, Lake Park had its four counting scores below 80.
Sectional returnees Jake Dianovsky, Luke Tytus and Zach Place had respective rounds of 77, 77 and 79 to complement the anchor score Green fashioned for the Lancers.
WW South was searching for a third tournament title this season; the Tigers were a week removed from the championship at Fenton last Saturday.
Joe Donzelli wrote one of the five 1-over par 73s to lead the Tigers, but the returning state qualifier was sixth after the scorecard icebreaker was applied.
Justin Seymour, Cooper Kohout and Jack Lillig were also on the Tigers' state team last fall, but none of the trio could better 78.
"I putted the ball pretty well today, but other than that nothing really went my way," Donzelli said.
Griffin Roscich fired a 76 to place ninth in the field for Glenbard West.
In the quality field with a distinctly West Suburban Silver feel to it, York collectively struggled after a strong performance at Fenton last week.
Jake Brown had the low score for the Dukes with an 81.
Downers Grove North returning at-large state qualifier Aidan Lafferty was 10th with a 76.
Jonah Snelling was in a large group at 77 to pace Benet.
Marshall reversed the individual results against Isenhart since the two juniors finished second and first at Geneva earlier this fall.
Marshall pitched in for eagle on the par-4 18th from 20 yards short of the green to frame his round.
"That was probably the highlight of the day," Marshall said. "I was pretty even-keel throughout the whole round today. I hit some good shots and some bad shots."
Isenhart, tied for third in the state finals last fall, had fellow Bloomington returnees Jack McDonald and Nick Geen fire rounds of 77 and 80 to solidify the Vikings' fourth-place finish.
Like the remainder of the field, Isenhart had to navigate tucked pin placements and swirling winds.
"The ground was really firm, so the greens weren't holding that well," Isenhart said. "I didn't hit many fairways, but I was putting fine. My irons were solid."
As he has done for much of the fall, Marmion senior Jimmy Morton was the trendsetter for the reigning Class 2A state runner-up.
Morton had back-to-back 37s on his two nines for a seventh-place 74.
"I started off hot, I was 2-under through three," Morton said. "I had been struggling but finished off well today. Putting was iffy all day."
The Cadets, who also received an 81 from Peter Thayer, realize an upsurge in play is necessary for a similar run in Class 3A this fall.
"Obviously, 336 is not where we want to be," Morton said.
Host Batavia was a shot higher (337) than Marmion as Justin Schutt had an even-par 35 on the front side in leading the Bulldogs with a 77.
St. Charles East had the same score as Marmion, with Alex McDonald and Jeff Makowski posting team-low 81s.
Taney Abichandani (84) did likewise for St. Charles North (347).
Ryan Vanderway is the two-time defending Upstate Eight Valley MVP and a returning state qualifier for West Aurora (349).
The junior was top 15 with a 77 in search of duplicating his league dual-meet results.
"So far this season I have been really good in conference matches," Vanderway said. "I am 3- or 4-under (collectively). In tournaments I haven't been doing that well, but I think it's mostly because they are so long."