Luke Molloy’s 76 leads St. Charles East to regional title

SHARE Luke Molloy’s 76 leads St. Charles East to regional title

St. Charles East golfer Luke Molloy is also a saxophone player, so he knows all about high notes and low notes.

At West Chicago’s St. Andrews No. 1 course Tuesday, Molloy hit a very high note by going low for 5-over-par 76 to win medalist honors and lead the Saints to their seventh Class 3A regional championship in 10 years with a 319 team total.

“I’ve had an up and down year,” Molloy said. “I’ve had some good scores and some bad scores, around 84. I’ve been averaging 81. Recently I haven’t really been playing the greatest.”

Molloy came in sixth and final man on the regional roster, but shot 78 last week at St. Andrews to earn All-Upstate Eight River honors.

He did that two better Tuesday by getting birdies on the par-4 seventh and par-5 10th to come in at 36-40.

“On the front side, everything was just kind of flying well, everything was in the fairway and I made a couple good putts,” he said. “I think mostly what I did well was I played smart — I didn’t always take the driver because some holes it’s not necessary.”

Molloy won by two over teammate Kyle Jacobs and Geneva freshman Graham Lillibridge, and the only other player in the 70s was South Elgin’s Andrew Dylo (79), who was the top individual without a qualifying team.

The Saints shot 319 with Jake Bertke’s 82 and Brad Riva’s 83 the other two scores. They edged Geneva by two shots, and St. Charles North (326) took the final team berth for Monday’s sectional at Naperville’s Springbrook Golf Course, led by 81s from Raghav Cherala and Santino Salamore.

Lillibridge had an inkling he needed to do something spectacular when he got to the par-5, 501-yard 14th. He backed up a wedge for an eagle 3.

“I kind of knew what the team was doing and we weren’t doing too great, so coming down the stretch I kind of knew I needed to put some good holes together to help the team,” he said. “That eagle helped me and the team a lot.”

Geneva’s Brett Hassels shot 80, teammate Alex Schreiber 81 and Dan Cisco 82. St. Charles’ North’s other scores were 82s from J.T. Grill and Matthew Samuelson.

Both Batavia (330, 4th) and South Elgin (331, 5th) advanced three golfers individually. Jacob Prechota (80), Nick Robinson (83) and Nick Bleidorn (83) qualified.

South Elgin’s Dylo and senior teammate Tyler Brown (80) repeated as sectional qualifiers, while Nate Reeser shot 84 and took second in a four-man playoff for the final two qualifying spots with a gutsy up-and-down from behind No. 2.

Larkin’s Dan Lenz was a repeat qualifier, as well, with an 81 (41-40).

“Last year I felt I did better at regionals,” Lenz said. “I played OK. The pin placements were very tough and the greens fast, but I like fast greens.”

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