WOOD RIVER — The Marquette Catholic Explorers displayed their balance and won another match on Thursday at Belk Park Golf Course.
With the win, the Explorers are now 16-1 on the season and continued their torrid pace. They shot a 147 as a team, winning a quadrangular meet over Roxana (178), Litchfield (178) and East Alton-Wood River (185). EA-WR's Drew Sobol fired a 2-under-34 to earn medalist honors.
The Explorers got scoring from: Michael Holtz (35), Kolten Bauer (36), Nick Messinger (37) and Sam Cogan (39). Jack Patterson (40) and Duncan McLain (43) rounded out the lineup Thursday. Cogan played No. 6 and came in under 40.
“It's amazing, 1-6 and probably our 7 are trying to figure out where they're going to hit balls next,” said Eric Bauer, who was filling in for Marquette coach Pat Moore on Thursday. “They love the game more than most do.”
For Sobol, it's always a good barometer of where he's at going head-to-head with Explorers' No. 1 Holtz. Sobol is having a fantastic year in his own right, medaling for the 13th time in 15 events on the season. It marked the 33rd time Sobol has medaled an event in his four-year career.
“It's really fun, they're an amazing team and they're really good this year,” Sobol said. “It's always fun playing with Mikey, we're real good friends and it's always a real good time and relaxing.”
Sobol said his putting game was key to his success in the quadrangular. The senior is focusing for a strong postseason run in his final prep season.
“It was definitely my putting,” he said. “I had 12 putts the whole day. It was really good.”
His father and coach, Dave Sobol, was pleased with the performance and loves seeing the way Sobol is bulldozing through the season.
“He's had a great senior year and bogey free is a big thing for me,” Dave Sobol said, who is coaching his final year in boys' golf and wrestling for the Oilers. “He's done that before and he's done it a lot. Without any blemishes, 2-under, it's a good score.
“That so called rivalry with him and Michael, which I don't believe in, because if people can see what we see as coaches, they're laughing, they're talking and they root for each other. I told those boys today, 'You two boys are everything good about this game.' I meant it from the bottom of my heart.”
Roxana coach Jeff Pare said the hope is in a quad with such high quality talent, his young squad picks up a thing or two to evolve as players.
“You would like to think so, but it doesn't always mean that,” Pare said with a chuckle. “I'd like to think so and I try to premise that. These guys are head and shoulders above us because of what? It's their work ethic, it's their summertime conditioning. They play all the time and they go about practicing the right way and that's why they're good.”
Pare was pleased to see his No. 3 player, Jacob Maguire, come through as the leader for the Shells Thursday. Maguire carded a 4-over-40, which was the best score of his career.
“That's his personal best, so that was a pleasant surprise,” Pare said. “He's a senior that decided he wanted to come out and play golf and I'm sure glad he did. He loves the game and he's come a long way and worked hard to get his scores down. He's on the right road.”
The rest of Roxana's scoring came from: Scott Anderson (42), Matt Marcuzzo (47) and Brandon Kelly (49). The lineup rounded out with Zach Golenor (51) and Justin Dearduff (57).
Marcuzzo, just a freshman, has been a bright spot for Pare.
“This is his third round in a row in the 40s, which is a really big step up in his game,” Pare said. “He doesn't hit it very far, but this kid is hungry to be a No. 1 very soon.”
EA-WR only has five players in its lineup. Rounding out behind Sobol on Thursday were: Joel Biesk (44), Brenden Allen (46), Austin Compton (61) and Kaleb Harrop (63).
The Explorers turn their attention to the Dick Gerber Invitational on Friday at Oak Brook Golf Club. The tournament hosted by the Edwardsville Tigers will be a great place for Marquette to showcase its talents. It tees off at 1 p.m.
“Very good tournament for the boys. They're truly excited about it,” Eric Bauer said. “Last year was their first year there and they walked into a hornet's nest. They didn't realize what they were getting into and this year they're prepared. They've had this one marked. They didn't get embarrassed last year, but they felt they didn't put their best foot forward last year as a team.”