Boys golf: Prospect's Busch finishes strong

By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/13/2018 10:07 PM

When asked about his favorite memory from his high school golf career Charlie Busch, typically, didn't focus on himself.

Instead, the Prospect senior said this best moment was cheering on one of his teammates two years ago.

"It was when Nick (Tenuta) finished third in state," said Busch of the 2016 state finals where Prospect's Tenuta shot a 2-day total of 148 to finish just behind winner Brendan O'Reilly of Hinsdale Central.

"We were all rooting for him," said Busch. "It was such a great time."

Saturday at the Class 3A boys golf state tournament at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington, Busch made some memories of his own that will last a lifetime.

Competing in his third consecutive finals tourney, Busch finished out by shooting a 39-37-76 in much less than stellar conditions.

"Just a great accomplishment," said Knights coach Tom Martindale of Busch's state finals success. "To be here his sophomore, junior and senior year, and he got better every year. Charlie is a great person and he's just outstanding."

The boys meets are usually two-day affairs, but this year because of inclement weather Friday's round was wiped out with most of the competitors having already played at least several holes.

That turned out to be tough luck for Barrington. Friday the Broncos were near the top of the 3A standings.

Saturday Barrington excelled again, but as the meet was played as a one-day tourney, the Broncos finished in seventh place.

Hinsdale Central won the team title, its sixth in a row, while sophomore Ben Sluzas of Lockport took individual medalist honors by shooting 68.

Junior Dominic Scaletta was superb again for Barrington, shooting a 74 that included 3 birdies, while teammate Brandon Dorans, a senior, carded a 77.

"I'm not one for excuses," said Broncos coach Mike Kallenbach, "but the guys played so well (Friday) -- they played as well as I've ever seen. We had completed most of our round, we were out there for five hours, so to have it nullified was such a letdown."

"I'm just so proud of the way they came out and battled today, and it's such an honor for us to be able to play in the state tournament."

It was the final tournament for Kallenbach, who is stepping down as Barrington coach after 14 years.

"It's starting to hit me now," said the coach, "and it'll really start settling in tomorrow. You meet so many great people along the way and I'm really going to miss it."

In the Class 2A tournament at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State -- which Charleston won -- St. Viator posted a fifth-place finish.

Viator's Nolan Doherty, a senior, completed his prep career with a solid 12th place individual showing, shooting 3 birdies en route to a 77.

Classmate Timmy Crawford was just one shot behind at 78, and it was Crawford who was at the top of the leaderboard Friday when the round was called off -- and the Viator team as well was in contention for the top spot.

"I just felt that with the physical and emotional energy that we had to expend (on Friday) to fight the elements as we did, we were just spent today," said Viator coach Jack Halpin.

"The good news today is Michael Rubin (a senior) shot a great round with an 80, and just a missed putt on the last hole kept him from shooting a 79. And Nolan and Timmy -- they're two of the finest young men I've ever coached. Nobody cared as much about Viator golf as those two, and as well as they're going to do in college, they're going to do even better in life."

In Class 3A Matthew Lee of Barrington shot 79; teammate Sean Markham finished at 80; while Colin Robinson of Fremd carded an 82.

Prospect coach Tom Martindale said he wasn't surprised that play on Friday was suspended.

"It was very challenging," said Martindale of the conditions. "It was cold, windy and raining, then the rain turned to snow."

"It was different Friday," added Busch of the ever-changing weather conditions. "I've never played in snow before, so it was harder to judge. But I've had a lot of experience on the golf course, and I had my coaches with me, and they helped me to stay calm under pressure. They helped reassure me.

"I had read the rules, so I had a feeling that the postponement was going to happen. I was prepping to go to the back 9 Friday (the senior had finished 8 holes), but I was preparing for the worst case scenario.

"It's been a great accomplishment to play on this team," added Busch. "I'm just thankful for my coaches. I got a lot of help the last four years."

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