After missing out on a trip to the state meet last season by just two strokes, Marmion had a singular determination to make sure that didn’t happen again in 2022.
Led by medalist Regan Konen, the Cadets shot a 321 to earn second place as a team at the Class 2A Sterling sectional on Monday at Emerald Hill Golf Course, punching their ticket to this year’s state tournament.
“Of course, it feels a lot better to have the whole team down there,” said Konen, who fired an even-par 72. “Last year we missed it by two, so we had a lot of anger and a lot of want to get down to state this year. So we really just focused on playing well, and I’m super happy for the team that we all get to go down and play.”
Last year, Marmion shot the same score at the Sycamore Sectional, only to tie for fourth with Kaneland, two strokes behind Rockford Boylan for the final team spot.
This year, Marmion sat in second place for most of the day, and finished six shots behind team sectional champion Vernon Hills (315). Boylan took the third and final team spot to advance, shooting a 324 to edge Ottawa by two strokes.
Konen, a sophomore, birdied the par-5 eighth hole, the par-4 12th, and then closed with one final birdie on the par-5 18th. He made just three bogeys and recorded 12 pars; he was 1-under on the four par-5s and 1-over on the four par-3s.
“I was just trying to hit as many greens as I could, because I knew the greens were super small, so it was going to be tough if I was missing greens; that was really going to hurt you today,” Konen said. “I hit a lot of greens, and my putting was a little off today — I didn’t have too many one-putts — but I kept it low and didn’t make any doubles, so that definitely helped. I just played consistent and hit a lot of greens with two-putts.”
Konen beat Rockford Boylan’s Cooper Watt (73) by one shot, and Prairie Ridge’s Charlie Pettrone (74) by two strokes. Konen said he didn’t have a specific score in mind, he just wanted to keep it simple and work his way around the course.
“I always think about playing the best I can, just hit the best shots I can,” Konen said. “I’m not trying to set any too-high standards for myself, so I can play relaxed, take it one shot at a time, one hole at a time. That worked well today.”
Lakes’ Josh Anderson finished fourth (76), and Grayslake Central’s Dominic Lucchesi and Vernon Hills’ Kartik Vasudeva tied for fifth with 77s.
Vasudeva was one of four Vernon Hills golfers to place in the top 12; he was joined by Henrik Lundberg and Ryan Irvin (79s, tied for 8th) and Dylan Moncayo (80, tied for 12th).
Joining Pettrone, Anderson and Lucchesi as individual state qualifiers were Jacob Lutzke and Kevin Crow form Carmel, and Antioch’s Donald Barnett. There was a seven-way tie at 80 for the final four individual spots, so the final qualifiers came down to a playoff.
It only lasted one hole, as Ottawa’s Drake Kaufman and Belvidere North’s Carson Rowe fired pars and Ottawa’s Seth Cooper and Woodstock Marian’s Peter Louise shot bogeys to earn the final four spots. LaSalle-Peru’s Coleman Rundle, Crystal Lake Central’s Jack Bice, and Kaneland’s Brian Davoust all had double bogeys to miss out on advancing.
William Lange wasn’t sure Barrington could win a second straight sectional title heading into this season.
The Broncos lost a couple seniors from last season’s team that finished fifth overall at the Class 3A State Tournament and Lange thought they might be too young and inexperienced to win another sectional title.
Barrington showed its growth on Monday when it won the Class 3A Dundee-Crown sectional at Randall Oaks Golf Club.
“We didn’t know how strong we were going to be compared to last year,” Lange said. “We all needed to come here and play well and we did. It’s a good feeling.”
The Broncos finished the day with a 297 score, four shots ahead of Lake Forest and five shots ahead of Warren, who will both join Barrington at the Class 3A state tournament which begins Friday in Bloomington.
Hersey’s Chad Tramba won the individual sectional title by shooting a one-under-par 70, finishing ahead of Palatine’s Pablo Castro, Prospect’s Luke Kruger, Barrington’s Lange and Highland Park’s Alex Finger by one stroke.
Tramba knew he had the overall lead heading into his final three holes and didn’t change up his aggressive approach. The junior only needed one birdie on the eighth hole and won by holding par the rest of the way.
“It’s amazing,” Tramba said. “It’s what every high school golfer dreams of: to play down at state. To win the sectional and know that I have that under my belt, is huge for me and a big confidence booster.”
Tramba, Castro, Kruger, Lange, Finger, Lake Zurich’s Zach Lawler (72), Libertyville’s Leo Scopacasa (72), Zion-Benton’s Kirby Torola (73), Buffalo Grove’s Connor Woodin (73) and Tyler Imhof (74) and Prospect’s Patrick Raupp (74) all advanced to the state tournament individually.
Huntley’s Brendan Busky and Nathan Elm each missed qualifying to state by one stroke while Dundee-Crown’s Jake Russell finished 26th overall with a 77. The Red Raiders’ Nooa Hakala and Cary-Grove’s Maddux Tarasievich each shot a 78.
“I’m really proud of the guys,” Huntley coach Collin Kalamatas said. “Came up a stroke short in an incredible sectional field like this. Not too much to be upset about, but I know a couple of our guys are bummed about missing out on by a couple strokes.”
Lange led the way for Barrington and was followed by Andrew Schauenberg, who finished 11th overall with a 73. Sam Uutala (76), Walker Grelle (77), Tate Naughten (77) and Alek Lechuga (79) rounded things out for the sectional champ.
Barrington coach Bryan Tucker knew the Broncos faced pressure at Monday’s sectional and was proud of the way they handled each challenge.
“I was really proud watching our kids, how they just went to the next shot, staying focused,” Tucker said. “They didn’t let a tough shot affect them.”
Jack Lamberti finished eighth overall to lead Lake Forest with a 73 while Clayton Trevino shot a 74 to finish 13th overall. Asa Thomas finished with a 76, Spencer Collis tallied a 78 and Tadgh Burke (79) and Jack Slaughter (87) scored for the Scouts.
Alex Welder finished 12th overall with a 73 and led Warren. Vaughn Harting finished a stroke behind Welder and Cameron Simmons (77), Rylan Lother (78), Nicholas Steinhilber (79) and Adam Juarez (87) all helped Warren finish third and advance to state.
Lake Forest won the 2019 Class 3A state title and have competed in the last four state final events. Scouts coach James Matheson hopes their recent state success can help this season’s team pull off another strong finish.
“We’ve been fortunate to be down there a couple of times,” Matheson said. “I think we have a good chance with how many times we’ve been down there and experienced it. We’ll see what happens.”