Boys golf: Libertyville, 2nd at NSC meet, has eyes on a state run
Libertyville's boys golf team has a swing going in its favor since the month has turned into October.
The Wildcats have been the runner-up in the North Suburban Conference behind Lake Forest all season but Libertyville has its eyes focused on something more -- like a trip to the state meet as a team for the first time since 1990.
This year's group has plenty of potential to do just that after it posted a 292 in the North Suburban Conference meet at Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Great Lakes on Tuesday. Lake Forest earned the title with an impressive 279, while Stevenson placed third (307), Warren fourth (311) and Mundelein fifth (312) of the eight teams that competed.
"It would be a little bit sweeter if we could've won it," Libertyville coach Sean Matthews said. "Lake Forest is so strong; they came in with a 67 and a 69. It's so hard to beat that. But I'm very pleased with our guys shooting under 300 and that's great to do. We have a nice group of seniors, a junior and a freshman. We just have to finish this year strong. I think we can get a real good chance to get out of the regional (Shepard's Crook, next Monday) as a team. We don't want to put the cart before the horse. We have a really good chance to go on to the sectional."
Carson Darnall led way for the Wildcats with a 2-under 69 on the par-71, 6,642-yard course. Others that helped out for the Wildcats were Danny Keating (72), Aleks Slesser (74) and James Schmidt (77).
Darnall posted a 33 on his front nine and 36 on the back side on a course that was a bit wet from the weekend rain.
"I had a good front nine by making a couple birdies in a row," Darnall said. "Pretty much, I was able to stay away from the big numbers, with no double bogeys and two bogeys on the day. The course was playing longer, the ball wasn't rolling and everything was plugging in the fairways. It also made it nicer to go at the pins and just pop it at it. It was one of my better rounds. I'm usually a couple over par."
Lake Forest's Pierce Grieve had the best round of the day with an outstanding 4-under 67 and his teammate Jack Marshall carded a 69 to finish second,
"We have a good team and a 67 is another piece to the puzzle," Grieve said. "Our two scores at the top helped our team win. Winning the conference is always big. Being able to go out and post a big number, hit some wedges and make some big putts was really nice."
The Scouts also had Patrick Moorhead finish with a 70 and Flynn Bradley with a 73.
"It's always great to make it a priority to win the conference," Lake Forest coach James Matheson said. "This is the start of the second season. It was a big tournament and we're trying to compete for the last tournaments in the year. I think we have all the pieces, it takes some luck and some things to happen for us to do it."
Tanner Anderson and Colin Wade each posted 74s leading Mundelein, while Jaden Robinson shot a 79 and Austin Greco had an 85.
"A lot of it was coming back. It started out a little rough," Anderson said. "I started out with a couple of bogeys starting the day. I came back over the last eight holes with two birdies and one bogey, so I finished one-under for the last eight. Overall, I thought the course was in decent shape. I hit the driver pretty good coming in and made some putts to save my round."
Conan Pan was Stevenson's best golfer posting a 74 on the day. Jake Schabes had a 77, Nick Udoni and Bradley Park each had 78s for the Patriots.
"I started out very well and was one-under through eight," Pan said. "Through the middle of the round, I just couldn't get anything going. None of my putts were going in. I just brought it back towards the end and went one-under for the last three holes. So, I was happy with that."
Warren was led by Luke Behrens (75), Garrett Porter (77) and Steffen Nerheim (79) while Lake Zurich was led by Jacob Michalak with a 79.