Boys golf: Glenbard West duo finishes season in style
John Wild and Grant Roscich piled into a golf cart for one extra hole, a fitting conclusion to a season Glenbard West surely wished would extend one more week.
It was a fun finish nonetheless.
Wild, a junior, and Roscich, a freshman, both shot a 1-over par 73 to lead a sizzling round by the Hilltoppers. Wild parred the playoff hole with Roscich to take home medalist honors at sectionals for the second straight season, and Glenbard West repeated as team champion, this time at the Class 3A Oswego sectional at Blackberry Oaks Golf Course in Bristol.
"It was fun being able to play with Grant, being both teammates," Wild said. "It feels great to end the year that way. We got one year left with almost all our guys. We're really excited about what next year has to come."
It's been quite a run already. Wild as a sophomore tied for third at state, and Glenbard West finished fifth as a team. There is no state meet this year, but it was still quite a season in Glen Ellyn. The Hilltoppers went unbeaten in duals, took third at conference behind champion Hinsdale Central and second at regionals behind the Red Devils.
On Tuesday Glenbard West's 300 beat out Hinsdale Central's 309, with Geneva third (311), Neuqua Valley fourth (328) and St. Charles East sixth (334). Glenbard West had four scores in the 70s, with Caden Pierce (75) tying for fourth and Matthew Valdick carding a 79.
"We've been really competitive with Hinsdale Central all year, so to be able to come out here and play like this feels great," Wild said.
Wild, Roscich and Pierce were all bunched up at the top of the leaderboard near the end, at one point in a tie with St. Charles East's Jake Daeschler, Downers Grove North's Tyler Schenk and Metea Valley's Aman Shah. But Daescher played the last three holes at 7-over, Schenk bogeyed three of his last four holes and Shah missed a par putt on his 18th to send the two Hilltoppers alone into a playoff.
"It was fun playing for a sectional, because it was my first year and for the first time playing in a sectional and playing well, it was cool nice," Roscich said. "Just a couple shots cost me but overall a good day."
Wild was at 3-over after three holes, but had just two bogeys with three birdies the rest of the way to charge to the top of the leaderboard.
"You can check the scores, so you're definitely aware of where you are," Wild said. "I had a shaky start but I was able to bounce back."
Geneva was led by Carter Williams, who shot a 75 to finish in a five-way tie for fourth. Cal McKittrick shot a 79 to tie for ninth.
Williams posted a strong score despite having his practice round rained out Monday, and winds that picked up considerably Tuesday as the day wore on.
"It was brutal," Williams said. "When I started out it wasn't bad at all but as I reached hole No. 7 it was really noticeable. It was hard to manage numbers and clubs and keep it straight."
The confidence from a round of 76 at regionals helped.
"It was huge. I don't think I would be where I am now without last week," Williams said. It put a belief in myself that wasn't there before. We want to be the best as a team, and we know we have the potential, weather and whatnot."
Schenk had an up-and-down round to also come in at 75 along with Williams, Pierce, Hinsdale Central's Emil Riegger and Yorkville's Ryan Waugh. Schenk had five birdies, his fifth putting him at even par through 14 holes. But he followed that with three straight bogeys.
"I struggled at the end, but I kept it together as much as I could," Schenk said. "I bogeyed 15, 16 and 17 which hurt but other than that I played well."
Like other golfers at Blackberry Oaks, the winds proved a tricky proposition for Schenk.
"I had to keep it below the wind as much as I could," Schenk said. "We had a practice round here, but no wind. When I wrote down what clubs to hit it was completely different, so that was different. But it was fun. I'm just glad we had a season."
Daeschler, medalist at regionals, was in contention Tuesday after making birdie on No. 6, putting him at even with three holes left. But he pulled his drive on the ensuing par 5 out of bounds, had to re-tee, put one in the bunker and duffed his bunker shot to make triple bogey, and tripled the next hole.
"Tough way to finish but I'm proud of the way I played besides those last three," Daeschler said. "I thought I was playing solid. The wind made it very tough, probably some of the toughest conditions I've played in."
Daeschler, though, knows plenty about overcoming adversity.
He was one of four St. Charles East golfers to come down with the coronavirus in September, quarantine costing the Saints two weeks. But they came back to take second at regionals and qualify the team for sectionals.
"Probably the weirdest season ever," Daeschler said. "I had to stay home, self quarantine, had a net I was hitting into in the backyard. As soon as I got out I was golfing every day. I was happy that we were able to finish the season and the postseason. I enjoyed every minute of it."