WOOD RIVER – It's still early in the season, but it's quickly becoming apparent that Marquette Catholic could be the teams to beat when it comes to boys golf in the Riverbend area this fall.
The Explorers and Edwardsville Tigers both shot team 293s to win the small-school and large-school divisions respectively of the Madison County Boys Golf Championship tournament at Belk Park Golf Course, a par-72, 6,326-yard layout, Thursday afternoon.
Marquette outdistanced Civic Memorial, who fired a team 359 for a second-place finish. East Alton-Wood River finished third with a 381, edging out Roxana by a stroke. Metro East Lutheran took fifth with a 418; McGivney Catholic of Glen Carbon had an individual, D.J. Willhord, who shot an 11-over 83 on the day.
The Tigers got past Collinsville, who had a 331, and Triad, who shot a team 337; Highland took fourth in the six-team field with a 350, followed by Granite City at 370 and Alton at 378.
Edwardsville's Ben Tyrell led all individuals on the day with a 5-under 67.
East Alton-Wood River's Drew Sobol tied with Marquette's Michael Holtz with a 1-under 71 for small-school medalist honors on the day. “The course played pretty easy today; the pins weren't too hard. It was very nice today. My iron and wedge shots (were the best parts of Sobol's game); they put me some reasonable (distances) for putts, but I played the best I could. A 71s a 71, so I'm pretty happy with it.”
“Anytime you get scores in the 70s, that's going to be hard to beat; that's hard to do,” said Explorer coach Pat Moore. “It was a little soft (on the course) today; the greens were a little slow today because of all the rain we've had and the course has taken, but it was still a gorgeous course and Belk's going to play the way it does.
“The kids enjoy it here; it's kind of our backyard in a way. It's hard to beat, the way they grinded it out there today,” Moore said, citing Holtz's 71 and Nick Messenger's even-par 72 plus Sam Logan, who had a 4-over 76. “That was huge,” Moore said. “it shows their determination and hard work are paying off, the fruits of their labor are coming in now.”
“It's still a long way to October (and the IHSA state golf championship series), but it's going to be here before we know it. We just want to take it one day at a time. We keep getting better and better each time; I can't be more proud of these guys. Their personalities and demeanor and the way they were raised and their character is even better. I can't thank their parents enough for raising them the right way.”
Kolton Bauer also shot a 2-over 74 for the Explorers, with Jack Patterson turning in a 7-over 79 and Duncan McClain an 82. Civic Memorial was led by Tristain Frank with a 79; Roxana was led by a 78 from Scott Anderson and MEL had a 92 from Braden Woolsey.
Matt Moore led Alton with an 86, while Riley Brown led the Warriors with an 82, John Misiewicz led Collinsville with a 75, Ben Brawns had a 79 for Highland and Cameron Lambeth led Triad with an 80 on the day.