St. Viator welcomes record turnout
A week into the high school golf season and the scores already are in midseason form.
On Monday at the Rolling Green Invitational hosted by Hersey, the Huskies shot a 153 at the 9-hole invite to beat the seven-team field that included Prospect (158), St. Viator (161) and Buffalo Grove (168).
Hersey's Tyler Irwin earned medalist with a 1-under 35, two shots ahead of teammate Henry Quinn and Jack Lynch from St. Viator. Several others also broke 40 -- Prospect's Pat Raupp (38), and Quinn Toomey (Rolling Meadows), Luke Kruger (Prospect), Ryan Beerheide (Buffalo Grove) and Grayson Dossett (St. Viator) all shot 39.
On Tuesday at Valley Ridge, Grant Pederson (37), Zeven Linbo (42), Kyle Splitt (43) and David Lokietko (45) led Grant to a 167-179 win over Wauconda. Jack Proeschel and Collin Smith shot 44s for Wauconda.
Also Monday at the Conant Early Bird Invite at Fox Run, Glenbrook North's Claire Choi won the individual title with an 82 while Fremd captured the team title at 353 ahead of Glenbrook North and Conant both at 362.
Aerin Oh led Fremd with an 83, Shreya Mantena had an 88 and Mayu Aso a 90. Sadie Zorrilla shot an 86 for Conant and Ariel Morrison followed with an 89.
• Prospect started its dual season with a 183-187 win over St. Viator. Abby Knott and Bri Arzbaecher tied Viator's Cate Reisinger for medalist with 44s.
• St. Francis also opened with a win shooting a 176 at Cantigny's Woodside nine paced by Katherine Lemke's 40. St. Charles East shot 184 and Naperville Central 210.
• At Veterans Memorial Golf Club, Lily McAuliffe, Ella Marsden, Emma Fields and Courtney Simpson all shot 43s in Libertyville's 172-224 win over Antioch.
Libertyville improved to 2-0 on Tuesday with a 183-193 win over Deerfield. Fields fired the low round with a 41.
• On Tuesday, Rosary picked up a 159-172 win over Geneva behind Brook Stumm (39), Annabelle Parolek (44) and Molly Regan (44). Reese Clark led Geneva with a 34, Lexi Leden shot 41 and Colleen Rutledge 42.
• Stevenson defeated Vernon Hills 158-195 at Crane's Landing as Chelsea She and Megan Lee both carded 39s. Lexi Schulman led Vernon Hills with a 40.
Everyone goes low:
Jack Busch led Naperville Central with a 73 in the Redhawks' first invite of the year Monday at Naperbrook, but the senior was just as impressed with the depth in his team's lineup that included 75s from Ben Anderson and Harvey Wang and a 76 by Brady Schultze.
"Ben had the greatest round I have seen him play," Busch said. "Harvey came in with a really good number. Any of our top six guys can shoot mid-70s. I think that's what's great about this team is everybody is playing for each other."
Like all golfers Busch is adjusting to wearing a mask between shots.
"That is a whole new ballgame for me," Busch said. "It's not a new mindset going into a shot, but it's something to think about. It didn't get me completely off track but it's a new focus you have to have to keep your mind straight. It doesn't affect your swing. It's new for all of us.
"To be out on the golf course, people who love the game don't care to wear masks. They want to be out there, they want to compete, and they don't care."
St. Viator was among the programs that got more players out this fall because football and boys soccer were pushed to the spring season.
Lions coach Jack Halpin said at least three new golfers came from those sports, giving him a total of a program-record 36. It can be hard to find enough tournaments for that many players but Halpin had no desire to make cuts.
"We kept everyone," Halpin said. "These children have had so many negative things happen in their lives, why would you ever want them to have anything negative? We just have to be positive. Everyone of my kids is getting so much better."
Just like the pros:
Benet coach Marty Gaughan pointed to the success the PGA and LPGA have had the past couple months in returning as an example of how the sport can be played safely in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Benet has been busy in the early part of the schedule playing in an invitational Saturday at St. Andrews and Monday and Tuesday in Naperville.
"You see it with the PGA," Gaughan said. "They aren't wearing masks but they are staying away from each other. There's not another sport where you have this much room to stay away from each other. You don't do anything else with the same exact equipment. There's so many things about golf that tends to make it a lot easier to comply with all the rules.
"On the day the IHSA made the announcement (that fall sports would return), it was getting delayed and I'm pacing the house. I saw what happened to the kids in the spring last year and I felt so bad for them and I was hoping that wasn't going to be the case. I was overjoyed for the kids in regards to hearing they would have a chance to compete."