Boys golf: Daeschler falls just short of state medal

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/19/2019 8:58 PM

BLOOMINGTON -- Jake Daeschler was aiming for all-state status Saturday at the Den at Fox Creek.

But the St. Charles East junior fell ever so short on the second day of the Class 3A boys golf state tournament.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Daeschler had matching 39s on his inward and outward nines at the par-72 layout to finish with a 152 aggregate total.

The Saints' lone second-round representative fired a first-round 74 to complement his second-day 78.

Daeschler, who had a pair of birdies to highlight his final round of the season, finished in solo 15th place.

"It was cool to play with the state's best players at the Den," Daeschler said. "The first day I played very well. I was in the hunt to be top 10. I was pleased with my scores."

The Daeschler performance lightened the sting of the Saints missing out of qualifying for the team state tournament by a mere shot to DuKane Conference rival Geneva.

"He has four nine-hole scores in the 30s," St. Charles East coach John Stock said of Daeschler.

Bennett Mortensen was the Saints' other state qualifier, but the junior missed the first-day cut with his 89.

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"I wasn't too upset," Mortensen said. "I wanted a chance to watch Jake. It was fun to see him play against some of the best in the state."

"They are going to be our leaders next year," Stock said of Daeschler and Mortensen.

Cal McKittrick was the only other local player in the largest-class field.

Geneva was victimized by the first true year of the cut as the opening round last year was wiped out by inclement weather.

The Vikings, making a fifth consecutive appearance, were last among the 12 qualifying schools with their 341 total on Friday.

McKittrick survived with a first-round 80; the junior finished his season with an 86 on Saturday.

"It was a little tough," McKittrick said. "I was the only (Geneva player) who qualified for the second day. To play at a high level of high school golf it takes a lot of mental toughness."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It was not a good projection of how he was playing," Geneva coach Eric Hatczel said of McKittrick and his score to par. "He was striking the ball exceptionally well. You don't want kids to come this far and not participate (on the second day)."

Lake Forest was 5-over par as a team in its second round to end the seven-year stranglehold Hinsdale Central had on the team title.

At the Class 2A tournament in Normal at the Weibring Course, Crystal Lake South leaders John Lishchynsky and Will Stewart could not be separated.

The former had a second-round 75 to tie his junior teammate, who had a second-day 80 after an opening-round 1-over 72.

Lishchynsky and Stewart were top 15 with their matching 152 totals.

Aurora Central Catholic senior Nathan Turco and Kaneland sophomore Josh Pehl also had identical two-day totals of 158 to place in the top 40.

"I think he's leaving with a sense of accomplishment," Kaneland coach Mark Meyer said of his top underclass athlete. "But at the same time he knows what he has to work on for next year."

Jackson Hulsey, a Westminster Christian sophomore, was also on the outside looking in for all-state inclusion after his pair of 77s left him in a three-way tie for 12th at the Class 1A course, Prairie Vista in Bloomington.

"I thought I played really good," the St. Charles resident said. "Putting wasn't the greatest. I had to grind it out."

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