Boys golf: Lee's fitting in just fine at BG

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/1/2018 8:56 PM
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Buffalo Grove coach Pete Duffer has been very impressed this season with the play of freshman golfer Dori Lee.

"I had heard about him over the years," said Duffer of his incoming frosh, "and really, he's better than I had heard.

"He's got a great personality, his attitude is strong, he's a competitor and he does a nice job of keeping his emotions in check as he plays."

Lee shot a 75 Saturday at the BG Invite, but the freshman was among a lot of golfers who thought they wouldn't be able to get 18 holes in.

Skies were dark and rain was falling at the start of the tourney, but the weather got better after a few holes and play was able to continue.

"It was kind of gloomy (at the start) and I wasn't very confident coming in," said Lee. "I thought we were going to have a rainout."

Lee, who has excelled this season so far, said he's had no trouble fitting in despite a senior-laden Bison roster.

"It's not what I expected," said Lee of being on varsity as a frosh and competing in 18-hole invitationals. "It's not like regular tournaments where there's a lot of time to warm up. The good thing is that the guys on this team are very experienced and it's nice (to be playing) with a lot of experienced players."

Lee said his best hole Saturday was the par-5 16th, which he birdied, and Duffer added more about how well the frosh has fit in on the team.

"Dori is consistent," said Duffer. "Consistent in how he swings and consistent in how he hits the ball. That's true not only of Dori, but another freshman we have, Ryan Beerheide. They've both helped us compete at a higher level. They're both great at picking a location and getting awfully close to it."

This year's invite was split into two flights, with Lake Forest (286) taking team honors in the late flight, while Libertyville (301) won the early flight -- led by Derek Calimari (73, medalist honors).

Lee's 75 saw him tie for the third-place medal in the early grouping.

Top performers in the first group included Henry Quinn of Hersey (second, 74); Danny Keating from Libertyville (75, tie for third); Bruce Jahncke of the Wildcats (76); Brendan Wise from Vernon Hills (77) and Chris Cho of Rolling Meadows (78).

In the second tier, Stevenson's Jackson Bussell shot 69 (tied for second individually) and teammate Mark Noonan carded a 71 to lead the Patriots to a team score of 291.

Senior Nathan Schmidt had the best score for Fremd in the meet, a 76 (to tie for fifth overall in the early flight) , and said the inclement conditions didn't affect him.

"Weather or not," said Schmidt, "I'm going to come out and do my best.

"I didn't start out good today -- I started out with a double but I was able to battle back with a couple of birdies on the front, then a couple on the back. I just tried to let the weather not affect me and play my game."

Teammate Bill Gao, a Fremd senior, says he's hoping to make his final season a special one for both himself and his Vikings team.

"I feel like being a senior I have a lot of responsibilities," said Gao. "Being one of the oldest people on the team, you've got to make sure the juniors and younger guys on the team prepare to be leaders of the future.

"Also, though, being a senior there's less pressure (than in previous seasons). I'm just trying to be out here and have fun. All of us -- all the seniors -- try to be people that others look up to."

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