Boys golf: St. Viator's Crawford connects for a 68
The Rolling Green Invite has seen its share of inclement weather over the years.
A couple of years ago, as a matter of fact, severe storms chased the boys golfers off the links after only four holes had been played.
Monday was a completely different story.
It was perfect weather with partly sunny skies and there was nary a flutter of the American flag that stood high above the course.
But that didn't make it any less challenging for the competitors from 12 local schools.
"Nice weather, but still very difficult," said Fremd junior Bill Gao, who acquitted himself well by shooting an 84.
"The course was set up hard today," added Schaumburg's Nick Tudor, who fired a 78. "You couldn't really attack because you didn't want to be below the hole."
"It's not long out here (the Arlington Heights layout comes in at 6,411 yards), but it's narrow," Tudor added. "From the tee to the green here it's all about ball placement."
Glenbrook North won the team title with a 292 while St. Viator junior Timmy Crawford shot one of the best-ever tourney scores (68) to take individual medalist honors.
Crawford finish the front nine at 33, an absolutely amazing mark considered he had a double bogey on one hole and hit the ball out of bounds on another other.
"He realistically could have had a 29," said Lions coach Jack Halpin. "That's how well he was playing."
Crawford started his round birdie-eagle, then birdied 5, 6 and 7.
"I was consistently striking the ball well today," Crawford said. "I tried to stay patient and not make any big mistakes, play steady."
After the invitational, Halpin had high praise for his junior leader.
"The best golfer we've ever had (at Viator) was Danny Stringfellow," Halpin said. "He was in the top 10 at state all four years, won in 2009 and wound up playing at Auburn University.
"Timmy is just as good as Danny and he has the same all-around ability."
Stevenson (299) finished second overall on the day, while Viator (305) was third, Glenbrook South (310) took fourth and Fremd (317) was fifth.
A 74 from Pierce Allord of Fremd (sixth-place individual medal) and a 75 from teammate Colin Robinson led to the Vikings' success.
Nolan Dohery of Viator matched Allord with a 74 and won the eighth-place medal on a tiebreaker while Stevenson's Mark Noonan excelled with 74 (fifth-place medal).
Charlie Busch and John Cantieri had 80s for Prospect. Joey Carlson was best for host Hersey with an 81.
Other outstanding rounds on the day came from Ryan Flynn of Viator (77). Alex Kim and Matt Schawel of Stevenson also carded 77s while Schaumburg's Dan Meister fired a 79.
The most courageous performance of the tournament came from Stevenson's Jackson Russell, who shook off illness to tie for the second-best round of the day (71) taking the third place medal on a tiebreaker.
"I had a bad cold for most of the week," Russell said. "I came out here to basically just keep the ball in the fairway and give it my all."
Russell's ultra-consistent round included 1 eagle and 1 birdie.
"I wasn't even able to take the team bus today," Russell said. "I had to stay an extra period due to all the AP classes I'm taking. So with everything that was going on, I'm pretty happy with a 71."