Boys golf: Geneva scores another regional title
Carter Williams felt his momentum-shifting moment.
Williams, a Geneva senior, said he followed his eagle on hole No. 16 at the Class 3A South Elgin Regional on Tuesday at Bartlett Hills with a hearty fist pump.
Williams and the Vikings went on and cruised to the regional title -- Geneva's fifth in the last sixth seasons -- by six shots over runner-up St. Charles East.
Geneva posted a 310 to St. Charles East's 316.
"It's a par 5 and I hit a seven-iron on the green," Williams said of his eagle. "And, then [i] sunk the putt, which was a massive boost for me ... just emotionally, I felt a big momentum shift."
Williams and Geneva teammate Joe Adams each turned in 76s, matching St. Charles East's Chris Petri for a three-way tie for second individually. St. Charles East senior Jake Daeschler parred the 18th hole to secure medalist honors with a 75.
The top two teams, Geneva and St. Charles East, and top four individuals off non-qualifying teams advance to next Tuesday's sectional meet at Blackberry Oaks Golf Course in Bristol.
"The biggest thing that stood out for me, just seeing [Williams] on the course, was how positive he was," Geneva coach Eric Hatczel said. "He's had a couple of challenges throughout the year that have just prevented him from breaking below out of that 40 [at the turn] or 80 mark. Today, he showed what his skills are capable of doing. And, it was phenomenal for the team."
"Same thing with Joe," Hatczel continued. "Joe, the past week, has struggled a little bit going left but kept his wits today. Same thing, made a great birdie on 16 [and] a couple pars coming home. There's two 76s to start off the team, so that's awesome."
Geneva's streak of four straight regional titles was broken last year by St. Charles North, by one stroke. The Vikings started a new one Tuesday.
"We really just wanted to come out here and put up a good score," Adams said. "Just see if we could win it. That's really all we tried to do today."
Daeschler began his afternoon with a bogey, but quickly rebounded. After admitting to not keeping a close eye on the rest of the field for the majority of the day, he wasn't sure of the top few spot placements until someone else told him on hole 17, which he bogeyed.
"I was like 'Wow, I got to make a par [on 18]' so I did that," Daeschler said. "A lot of nerves on 18, but thankfully parred."
Geneva was also aided by Zach Padgett (78) and three scores of 80, respectively, for Austin Frick, Cal McKittrick and Jesse Balc.
Following Daeschler and Petri, Bennett Mortensen (77), James Bundy (88), Ben Barcel (89) and Trevor Meyer (90) rounded up the Saints.
St. Charles North and Batavia tied for third with a 331 team score.
The North Stars will advance Alex Lilly (80) and Mason Siegfried (81) as individuals to sectionals. The Bulldogs will send sophomore Gavin Newkirk (77). Bartlett's Francis Resurreccion (77) also advanced.