Boys golf: Schawel holds up fine as Stevenson takes 2nd in NSC
Stevenson's Matt Schawel didn't let the heat of the battle get to him, even though the senior needed 19 holes to become the North Suburban Conference medalist.
Lake Forest had to sweat out the conference championship, shooting a 293 to edge Stevenson (295) and third-place Mundelein (302) at Willow Glen Golf Club in Great Lakes on Tuesday.
Schawel and Lake Forest's Scott Frevert each shot a 1-over-par 72 on the 6,642-yard layout to tie for first place, as each posted 36s on each nine. The two golfers then went to a playoff, as each teed off on the 478-yard, par-4 10th. Schawell settled for a bogey, which was one stroke better than the score Frevert carded on the hole.
Schawel reached the edge of the green in three, then left the ball near the cup on his fourth shot and tapped in. Frevert hit his second shot into a fescue and had to take a drop. He landed his fourth shot on the green and two-putted.
"It was actually my first time in a playoff, so I really didn't know how to go about it," Schawel said. "I decided to continue what I did all day and had some fun out there. Winning it is pretty special. There are a lot of good players out here, not only on our team, but the rest of the conference."
The weather conditions were similar to what players might experience in a tournament at the start of the season, as temperatures hovered around 90 degrees.
"I thought it was pretty windy, too," Schawel said. "I've played at some courses like Shepherd's Crook when it's been windy. I think the wind helps me focus, and I just played well."
Stevenson also got good rounds from junior Jackson Bussell (73, fourth), junior Mark Noonan (74, seventh) and freshman Conan Pan (76, 13th).
"Lake Forest had a phenomenal score. That's great out here," Stevenson coach John Rueth said. "Some of these greens are difficult to putt. They don't break at times. I thought we had a good score. We played well, and I hope it keeps going into the regionals, hopefully sectionals and hopefully down to state."
Lake Forest senior Jed Thomas (sixth) and freshman Pierce Grieve (fifth) shot matching 73s, and junior Danny Fisher had a 75 (10th) for the Scouts.
"That was a close one," Lake Forest coach James Matheson said. "Stevenson has been great all year. We've been going back and forth. They've probably beaten us three times this year. We know they're good, and we knew that we had to play really well to beat them today. It will be interesting the next couple of weeks."
Mundelein was third, led by junior Trevor Neumaier, who finished third with his 73. Sophomores Colin Wade (ninth) and Tanner Anderson (11th) each had a 75, and senior Christian Loar shot a 78 (18th) for the Mustangs.
Warren senior Karl Tolentino, who posted a 74 (eighth place) to lead the Blue Devils (sixth, 322), welcomed playing in the unseasonable conditions.
"Every year in the conference meet it usually downpours, except this year," Tolentino said. "This was the first time in conference I was able to wear shorts. It was definitely easier compared to all the other years. Usually, you have to wear two layers and it's hard to swing. It's hotter now than it was in the summer."
Lake Zurich (315) finished fourth, two strokes better than fifth-place Libertyville (317), and was led by senior Konnor Kinimonth (76, 14th) and junior Jason Czabaj (79, 20th). Libertyville got sub-80 rounds from sophomores Carson Darnall (78, 16th) and James Schmidt (79, 22nd).