After placing third in the 140-player Providence Invitational, Lincoln-Way East’s Jake White said “you can never expect anything” before entering a major tournament.
The Griffins, on the other hand, have come to expect stellar scores from their three-year starter. White’s third-place finish was the result of an even-par 72 at The Sanctuary. Earlier in the season, he fired a 1-under 71 at Broken Arrow.
“Jake is old-school,” East coach Ryan Pohlmann said. “He’s not caught up with over-analyzing swing mechanics. He goes out and puts up a good score with whatever swing he has that day.”
That composure seems to help White shine brightest on the biggest stages. He won the SouthWest Suburban Red Tournament last season and followed with a team-low 75 at sectionals to lift Lincoln-Way East to a state-qualifying berth.
Playing alongside returning starters Lee Hill and Victor Perez, White said he doesn’t need to say much as the team captain.
“I’m more of a lead-by-example guy,” White said. “I go out on the course and do my own thing and hope the rest of the guys follow and do well.”
“Jake is a model of what we want our golfers to be,” Pohlmann said. “He has a positive attitude that is contagious amongst his teammates.”
White and Co. will look to defend their conference title on Sept. 30. The Griffins should get a tough test from Lincoln-Way Central, which is led by Anthony Bolden and Scott Mueller.
East edged Central 321-322 at the Providence Invitational.
The Griffins tacked on a seven-stroke victory over Central a few days later.
Marist girls prepare for postseason
With the state playoffs getting underway in less than three weeks, Marist trekked south to play a tournament on the Class 2A state course, Hickory Point in Forsyth.
Coach Jim Barker called the trip an “aspirational invitational.”
“It basically does three things for us,” Barker said. “No. 1, it lets the team bond and have a little fun. No. 2, it allows them to play the state course and build some confidence they want and need getting ready for regionals. And it builds our program as we continue to aspire to be the best we can be.”
Marist brings back four starters from last season’s sectional-qualifying team, led by Barker’s daughter, Kelly, who recently dropped her handicap index to 11.9.
Sam Smith, Kaitlyn Maloney and Hannah McMahon return with playoff experience, and soccer standout Diana Lang also is capable of contributing a solid score.
The RedHawks will lean on that experience in the Marian Regional, which features the last two state qualifiers from the Southland, Sandburg and Lincoln-Way East.
Barker said the RedHawks are trying to fine-tune specific skills to better establish their on-course poise.
“One day we’ll work on our chipping from 50 feet out, the next day we work on our putting from nine feet,” Barker said. “We’re focusing on those difference-makers that can add or shave strokes.”
Parker plays in the dark
Lockport’s John Parker was able to finish his nine-hole round against Sandburg and Joliet Co-op thanks to a few smartphones. With the sun going down, teammates shined their phones on the green so Parker could finish his last hole. He ended up carding a 40, propelling the Porters to the triangular victory.