Crystal Lake Central claims FVC tournament title
Firing a 68 at Randall Oaks Golf Club in West Dundee, like Crystal Lake Central's Eric Klutke did Thursday to win the Fox Valley Conference tournament, would be impressive any day of the week.
Doing it on the type of day Klutke did was downright remarkable.
Playing through changing weather that included several bouts of hard rain, then sunshine, then a drizzle, then the wind picking up, Klutke didn't let anything affect his game.
The lefty took his only bogey on the first hole, quickly got it back with a birdie on No. 2, and chipped in for birdie on No. 8 to shoot 1-under on the front. Klutke added birdies on 11 and 15.
Nobody in the 70-player field came close to that kind of round. Only five players broke 80.
"I put a good number up today," Klutke said. "It's cool to win that. It was fun out there.
"I just don't let the conditions get to my mind. I just try to stay focused and play my game. I don't think about it."
Klutke's excellent play sparked Crystal Lake Central to the team championship with a 310. Bayden Hubacher (75), Christian Wakeford (83) and Ethan Bass (84) made up the Tigers' top four.
Crystal Lake South followed at 322. The Gators featured the golfer who came closest to Klutke, defending tournament champion Will Stewart who carded a 73.
"The weather was wild," Stewart said. "I felt we were in the middle of Florida or Georgia. It was kind of miserable but everybody is dealing with the same stuff. It's who can be strongest in their head, who can repeat the same swing with layers on. That's always a challenge for me getting used to the layers."
Stewart double-bogeyed the fourth hole, failing to "take his medicine" when a pulled tee shot ended up by a tree. He recovered with three birdies before a 3-putt for bogey on 17.
Putting was a challenge for most of the field because of several tricky pin placements. No. 10 and No. 18 were especially daunting.
"Whoever was the groundskeeper today was not a happy man this morning," Stewart said. "At least 7 or 8 of them right on ridges. If you are past the pin on any of them you are done for."
Ricky Falbo (80), Nate Stewart (84) and Tanner Coakley (85) posted counting scores for the Gators.
Prairie Ridge (328) finished third behind Eddie Winkelmann's 76; Jacobs followed at 333 with Jason Seaholm (79) handling a tough 2-putt on 18 to break 80 for the first time.
"He's been getting better throughout the year and has been getting close to the mark," Jacobs coach Gary Conrad said. "That was pretty cool to see. It's a good time to start peaking."
Seaholm's teammates Ryan Frantik (82), Justin Cunningham (84) and Kyle Schutt (85) were close behind.
"It was more like a late October than early October day," Conrad said. "They had the golf course set up tough. We ended up doing pretty well overall for us. Our goal was to be in the top half and we achieved it."
Danny Sheedy's 80 paced Huntley's fifth-place finish (333). Cary-Grove (337) was sixth led by Tom Fornelli (80) and Nate Jablonski (81).
Aidan Svec (84) helped Dundee-Crown (344) finish seventh, 10 shots in front of Burlington Central, who got an 83 from Chaz Rutke and 84 from Tyson Malak.
McHenry (358) and Hampshire (372) rounded out the 10 schools led by Ethan Jensen (83) and Payton Yee (89), respectively.
CSL North girls:
Vernon Hills' Lexi Schulman shot a 73 at Wilmette Golf Club on Wednesday to claim medalist honors at the Central Suburban North tournament. Highland Park was the top team with a 332 and Vernon Hills came in second at 370.