Tyler Kelly rebounds to take medalist honors

SHARE Tyler Kelly rebounds to take medalist honors
SHARE Tyler Kelly rebounds to take medalist honors

Tyler Kelly realized if he fell too far back at Tuesday’s Class 3A Lemont Regional, he’d be left behind.

Being 3-over after just two holes, he almost was.

Instead, Kelly, a senior at Lincoln-Way East, rebounded by firing three birdies to finish with an even-par 72 for medalist honors.

“Of course I was a little frustrated, but I stayed in it,” Kelly said. “I knew I had to bounce back and play smart golf. I didn’t make any bogeys after the second hole.”

Kelly topped the 60-player field at Broken Arrow in Lockport with a one-stroke victory over Lockport’s Gehrig Hollatz and the Providence duo of Will McCabe and Ricky Costello.

“This is my last year, so I had some nerves,” Kelly said. “I’m glad I got it done.”

Hollatz nearly forced a playoff with Kelly but said he missed a two-foot putt on his final hole. It was an interesting round for Hollatz, as his day was marked by an unlikely event.

“On the fourth hole of the back nine I got stung by a bee on the arm,” Hollatz said. “I ended up having three birdies right after that. It was awesome.”

In the team standings, Providence earned the title among 10 teams with a 299. Lincoln-Way East finished second with a 303 and Lockport came in third at 308.

Those three schools — along with the 10 best scoring individuals from non-qualifying teams — advance to Monday’s Pekin Sectional.

“We knew it would probably come down to us and Lincoln-Way East,” said McCabe, a Mokena resident. “I know a lot of the kids on Lincoln-Way, so it’s a pretty big rivalry for us.”

The Celtics received contributing scores from Mickey Brick (75) and Kevin McEneany (78) to hit their second consecutive score below 300.

“We knew this was a big-time regional,” Providence coach John Platt said. “We told the guys not to shoot for a bunch of birdies, just make pars. They played smart.”

Lemont, behind fifth-place finisher Ben Groselak (74), took fourth with a 312. Sandburg had a 317 and Lincoln-Way Central was in at 318.

Lincoln-Way Central’s Tony Kestel and Lockport’s Luke Trent shot 74s to tie Groselak for fifth. Lincoln-Way East’s Jake White (75) and Matt Contey (76) weren’t far off the pace.

Other individual qualifiers include Joliet co-op’s Trent Wallace (75) and Isaiah Smith (76); Sandburg’s Michael Mishek (76), John Calzaretta (80) and Ronny Drabek (80); and Lemont’s Matt Groebe (77) and Joe Ziebell (79). Lincoln-Way Central’s Garret Gohacki qualified with an 80.

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