Boys golf: Riegger's 65 leads Hinsdale Central to conference crown
Hinsdale Central junior Emil Riegger became a putting machine Tuesday with six birdies in a row during his back nine holes at the West Suburban Conference Silver Division Meet.
His final shot for par was just as meaningful.
"I had a 3-foot putt," Riegger said. "After hitting that putt and making it, it was pretty certain that nobody was going to beat me and it was a pretty good feeling."
Riegger's 7-under-par 65 won the individual title at Prairie Bluff in Crest Hill and helped the Red Devils repeat as champions with an impressive 281. In the WSC Gold Meet, Hinsdale South senior Billy Gneiser defended his title with a 73 and Downers Grove South's 313 gave them the title for the ninth straight season.
The Red Devils have won the Silver for two straight seasons and eight of the last nine, but Glenbard West (284) and Lyons Township (289) made them earn it. Hinsdale Central senior Jack Inabnit (71, fourth), last year's Silver medalist, freshman Kevin Wesolowski (72, seventh) and sophomore Jack Mulligan (73, ninth) also were top-14, all-conference medalists.
"Three teams under 290. That's some good shooting," Hinsdale Central coach Jess Krueger said. "A 65 you can ride a long way, but we needed the other scores. (Riegger has) been playing real well for us."
Riegger shot a 6-under-par 30 on the back nine and needed every birdie. He was challenged within his group by Lyons Township senior Will Caronchi (66) and Glenbard West senior John Wild (67), who finished second and third. Caronchi's 33 led at the turn while Wild also got hot with a 5-under back nine and eagles on No. 10 and 15.
"We were just really building off each other and it was a lot of fun," Wild said. "I had a lot more chances where I could get aggressive. I had a great drive on 10. I was able to kind of get things going after that."
"I hit pretty good shots and then John was making some goods shots (on the back nine). And then I had to step it up to get there," Riegger said. "I've been working all year to improve and it's paid off."
Wild was the lone golfer from either division Tuesday to earn all-conference for a fourth time. The Hilltoppers' other all-conference finishers were senior Ryan Park (71, fifth), sophomore Grant Roscich (72, sixth) and seniors Caden Pierce (74, 12th) and Eric Schall (76, 14th).
Gneiser won by five strokes over Downers South junior Zach Deplaris (78) after a one-stroke 2020 victory at Cog Hill No. 2 with 76. Addison Trail senior A.J. Scali was third (78). "It means a lot, going back-to-back, especially for my senior year," Gneiser said.
"I think last year was harder just because we were playing a harder course. I already knew today and last year it was going to take a good score to win it and 76 is a pretty decent score and 73 is an even better score. I could have been a lot better, but that's golf for you."
Downers South senior Colin Mitchell (78, fourth), junior Ben Orozco (79, sixth), Tyrrell (80, eighth) and sophomore Conor Lynch (83, 14th) also were all-conference.
"It's huge (to win again)," senior captain Tijay Patel said. "The guys before us were great. They led the way for us and we're going to just keep on chugging."
The second-place Hornets (317) posted one of their best rounds. Third-place Addison Trail (322) finished second overall when dual results were combined. Other Gold all-conference players were Hinsdale South sophomore Tommy Gneiser (78, fifth) and junior Joe Pantoni (82, 11th), Addison Trail junior Frankie Barges (79, seventh) and senior Elijah Aquino (82, 12th) and junior Vince Guajardo (81, ninth), senior Dom Faillo (82, 10th) and junior Nick Chivilo (82, 13th) for fourth-place Willowbrook (332). In the Silver, Downers North (322) edged York (322) for fourth on a fifth-score tiebreaker.