While a handful of golfers at the Class 3A Lake Forest Sectional at Lake Bluff Golf Course will have to come back at 9 a.m. Tuesday to finish their round thanks to rain, St. Charles East’s fate was already sealed.
The Saints shot a 306 to earn the third and final state qualifying slot. East topped Stevenson, which also shot a 306, on a fifth-card playoff. It’s East’s first trip to state as a team since 2010.
“(Advancing was exciting) especially how close we came the last couple of years, being one or two strokes off,” East senior Kyle McWeeney said. “Our senior year, we wanted to make sure we got there.”
McWeeney showed the team’s depth. After being left off the roster at regionals last week, McWeeney re-entered the lineup in the sixth slot and delivered a sturdy 77.
“He was a coach’s pick,” East coach John Stock said. “Kyle came through. Good for him. What tremendous growth since his freshman year, and a great kid.”
Colin Johnson led the Saints with a 75. Daniel Haugen shot a 76 and Gary King added a 78. Mike Bertke’s 79 on the fifth card broke the tie with Stevenson to send the Saints to Bloomington this weekend.
The final group of players from the four regional title teams reached the 18th hole when the third and final weather delay of the afternoon suspended play until Tuesday. That included Jacobs. The Golden Eagles are out of contention for a team qualifying spot, but Justin Lenzini will likely advance as an individual after shooting a 75. Joe Addante and Cooper Slack each shot 80s. Tyler Barrett still has to finish his round.
“It’s very tough,” Jacobs coach Gary Conrad said of the multiple weather delays. “You get cold and you get stiff and then you have to go out there and try to hit a golf ball again. But everyone had to do it.”
Geneva was one of the teams that started earlier in the day and the Vikings were able to complete their round. They shot a 322, led by a 77 from Garrett Davis. The projected cut line for advancing individuals is 76, but Davis is still clinging to hope for a qualifying bid.
“We only had one guy that played in a sectional before,” Geneva coach Eric Hatczel said. “With the conditions and the pressure, to come out today and shoot a 322, I’m very proud of the boys.”
Of the 10 local individuals that advanced to sectionals, only two completed their rounds before the delay: St. Charles North’s Michael Stasczuk (80) and Eric Dauksavage of South Elgin (81).
Still on the course Tuesday will be Huntley’s trio of Trent Craig, Jake Grabner and Danny Spoeth, Larkin’s Dan and Jon Lenz and Josh Fougerousse (Dundee-Crown), Jake Muehlschlegel (St. Charles North) and Chase Pantle (Streamwood).