Boys golf: Woodin's closing birdie nets MSL championship; Barrington takes team title
It was about as tight of a finish that anyone could remember in the 62 years of the Mid Suburban boys golf championships Thursday at the Mt. Prospect Golf Club.
The medalist honor came down to the final six-foot putt by Buffalo Grove's Connor Woodin, who dropped the birdie putt to finish with a three-under 67. That edged Prospect's Patrick Raupp and Hersey's Chad Tramba, who were both one shot back at 68.
The team side was just a razor-thin.
Barrington and Prospect each tied with a 296 thanks to Barrington's Isaiah Thomas sinking a birdie putt on his final hole. That, along with fifth golfer Sam Uutala's 76, lifted the Broncos to the team title.
It was the second time this season that both Barrington and Prospect had tied. The last time was in a dual meet earlier in the season and Barrington won that match thanks to the fifth golfer tiebreaker.
The Broncos got solid performances from William Lange (72), Thomas (74), Drew Schauenberg (75) and Walker Grelle (75.)
"You tell the kids you never know how much one stroke will mean," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker, who team won its fourth consecutive title.
"Like the next shot could be the shot that determines things. It is such a talented, balanced league across the board. There are so many good players. I think our kids feel very fortunate to come out on top."
Prospect had a solid day on its home course. Raupp (68), Luke Kruger (73), Jack Kruger (77) and Cole Bielecki gave the Knights the MSL East title trophy.
"We are excited about our three all-conference players," Prospect coach James Hamann said. "But we are going to have to learn from this one. Hopefully we will hit the ground rolling next week at regionals."
Hersey finished third with score of 300, just four strokes behind the leaders. Tramba led the way for the Huskies with a 68. Henry Esposito (75) and Owen Spokas (78) along with Kyle Carlson and Danny Zolna, who each carded 79s, were the key.
"This is the closest tournament I can ever remember," said Hersey coach Dan Caporusso, who has been at the helm for 37 years.
"What a great finish for our conference," Caporusso said. "I am really happy with our team. They have been putting in the effort and it certainly culminated in how we played today."
Fremd and Buffalo Grove each had a 307, while Palatine scored a 308 and Conant finished with a 309.
Woodin got off to a fast start. The senior, who will compete for Loyola-Chicago next season, birdied two of his first five holes. He gave both of those strokes back before the turn.
After he bogeyed No. 10, Woodin would birdie four of the five holes between 13 and 17 to pull ahead and finish with 67. He also made sure he didn't finish in the sewer.
"On the last hole, my foot was next to sewer," Woodin said. "I hit a 7-iron from 168 to about 25 feet away. I missed the first put, but made the next one."
Raupp had an incredible back nine. The senior, who committed to Northern Illinois just a few days ago, shot a school-record 29 on the back.
It didn't begin well for him, shooting six over through the first five holes. He then rallied with four birdies and two eagles to finish strong.
"I just got into a groove," Raupp said. "I just gave up what the result was and focused on what I was trying to do. Everything worked out."
Tramba also had a great finish to get to 2-under.
The senior was 3-over when he reached the final nine. He proceeded shoot a 30 on the back. He birdied holes 12 through 16 for five consecutive birdies, giving him seven on the day.
"It was a day of many ups and downs," Tramba said. "I shot 38 on the front. I didn't hit it too well on the front, but I really rallied back."
Lange finished fourth. He was followed Braeden Newby (73), Luke Kruger, Palatine's Pablo Castro (73), Conant's Nicola Simon (73) and Thomas.
Simon, who will compete at Michigan next season, was named the conference's top golfer.