Boys golf: It all Pans out for Stevenson
Stevenson sophomore Conan Pan said that he felt he hadn't been playing his best golf recently, so he wanted to come out at Tuesday's Class 3A Palatine boys golf sectional to, "do my best and show what I'm capable of."
Did he ever.
Pan earned medalist honors by firing a 34-37-71 at Palatine Hills Golf Course, and the score helped his Patriots advance to the state tournament as a team.
Stevenson's 301 saw it place second, just behind winner Lake Forest (296). Barrington had a strong meet with a 305, good for third place overall to earn the last sectional team spot to move on to the state tourney in Bloomington this weekend.
"It felt good that I could shoot such a low score," added Pan, "but the hard thing was trying to maintain playing well the whole day."
Pan was on varsity last year and his play gave a big boost to Stevenson's third-place state finish, and he said that the experience he gained in 2017 carried into this season.
"Last year I was the youngest player on the team, of course, so I looked up to the upperclassmen and I learned a lot from them," he said.
Barrington's advancement extended the season for long time coach Mike Kallenbach, who is stepping down as head coach after 14 years.
"I wouldn't have it any other way," said Kallenbach of earning a final trip to The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course. "I have my team to thank for this.
"Playing in a sectional can be exhausting and extremely difficult," added Kallenbach, "and this is the same group of guys who struggled in the first round last year. I'm so proud that they were able to make amends this season."
Junior Dominic Scaletta paced the Broncos with a 73 while classmate Sean Markham carded a 74.
"Those two guys were solid and consistent all day," said Kallenbach. "Their ball-striking was great. They got up and down and they really led the way for us."
Fremd qualified two individual players to state in seniors Colin Robinson and Nathan Schmidt, both of whom shot 75.
For Jacobs, senior Garrett Tighe will be returning to Bloomington after finishing with a 74 at Palatine Hills.
Tighe finished 14th at last year's state finals.
"Garrett puts a lot of time into the game of golf," said Jacobs coach Gary Conrad, "and things went very well for him today."
Jackson Bussell (74), Alexander Kim (76), and Mark Noonan (80) all contributed to Stevenson's advancement, with Bussell getting a chance to defend last year's individual state title at The Den, while Matthew Lee (78) and Brandon Dorans (80) counted scores for Barrington.
Trevor Neumaier of Mundelein was among a septet of golfers who qualified at 75, and the outstanding round saw the senior move on to state.
It'll be Neumaier's first appearance at Bloomington.
"I got up and down nine times today, and I tried just to stay focused on every hole and every shot," said the senior.
Neumaier said that the one-day postponement of the sectional -- it was originally scheduled for Monday but was delayed a day due to conditions -- didn't really have an affect on him Tuesday.
"They did a good job here of cleaning everything up and getting everything dry," said Neumaier. "The bunkers were amazing.
"The greens were rolling and I had putts rolling in left and right, and I thought they did a great job on the course. It's sad though that this will be my last week of high school golf. Golf is my passion."