BLOOMINGTON/NORMAL — Edwardsville's Ben Tyrrell paced the local contingency for boys' golf at state on Friday and Saturday.
The junior linkster fired a two-day score of 149 and tied for 7th place at the Class 3A state tournament at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington on Saturday.
Tyrrell's finish helped the Tigers tie for 6th place in the 3A team standings with an overall score of 625, or plus-44 for the two days. They were five strokes off of bringing home a trophy.
Hinsdale Central was the 3A state champion with a 593, while New Trier (618) was second and Barrington (620) and Glenbrook South (620) tied for third.
Tyrrell thought he could have shot a little better. He was seven strokes off of champion Brendan O'Reilly of Central (142), but just two shots off of second place.
“My first day was a little better, but I didn't putt real well these two days,” Tyrrell said. “I hit the ball really well, but my putting was the deciding factor on how I played. I wasn't very happy with that.”
He was joined by Tanner White (151), Jon Ratterman (162), Luke Babington (163), who scored for EHS. Spencer Patterson (166) and Blake Burris (182) rounded out the lineup. Babington and Patterson were the only seniors in the Edwardsville lineup at state.
The Tigers were under the direction of co-head coaches Adam Tyler and Doug Wright in their first season at the helm of the program after working as assistants. Tyler was pleased with how Year 1 closed out.
“We played really well,” Tyler said. “We didn't come up here with any expectations, we were just going to play and see what happens. We knew the best teams in the state of Illinois are here this weekend, so for us to get sixth and be right in the middle of the pack it is a testament to where our game is at right now and where we were at the end of the year, playing really well. A lot of kids are going to walk away from this year with their heads held high knowing they played their best.”
White turned in a solid performance as a junior alongside Tyrrell. He finished 11th individually.
After Day 1 White had found himself in a tie for fourth, carding an even-72. He shot 7-over on Saturday.
“It was a good weekend. The first day I played really well,” White said. “I hit a lot of fairways, my putter was on fire. I just had a lot of fun the first day. The second day the weather really added to everything. My ball striking wasn't as good the second day and not as many putts were falling, but coming back from last year and improving by 10 plus shots is always great.”
Across town at Weibring Golf Course in Normal, the Class 2A state tournament unfolded on Friday and Saturday.
The Marquette Catholic Explorers found themselves with an uncharacteristic day on Friday, shooting 328 and sitting in 10th place. They recovered some by carding a 319 on Saturday for a two-day score of 647 to tie for seventh place. The Explorers also finished in seventh at the 2A state tournament in 2015.
Normal University (624) won the 2A state title, while Aurora (Marmion Academy) (630) was second and Vernon Hills (634) was third to also secure trophies.
Marquette had a trophy-or-bust attitude entering state, so there was disappointment, but head coach Pat Moore couldn't complain too much when putting the season in perspective.
“We played a little bit better today, but it's still one of our higher scores for the year,” Moore said. “But coming back and shooting better the second day is what you always want out of your team.
“I'm very proud of the guys and how they handled themselves, especially these three seniors. These last four years have been pretty awesome. It's been great having them for sure.”
Sophomore Kolten Bauer led the Explorers over the two days. He shot two rounds of 79 to finish with a 158, which was good for a tie for 32nd overall individually.
The rest of the scoring lineup for Marquette came from its three seniors, Nick Messinger (161), Duncan McLain (167) and Michael Holtz (167). Jack Patterson (169) and Sam Cogan (174) also competed for the Explorers at state.
“It kind of stinks not finishing how we wanted to, not falling apart, but just not playing the way we know we can at big time of the year. All in all it was a great year and a lot of fun,” said Messinger, who saw Marquette win a regional and sectional championship in the postseason.
East Alton-Wood River senior Drew Sobol competed as an individual at 2A state. Sobol had a roller coaster weekend at state.
After Day 1 he found himself in a four-way tie for first with a 2-over-73. He ended up tied for 14th overall on Saturday, after carding an 81. Sobol finished with a two-day score of 154.
“I had a very first good day, 73, tied for the lead and Day 2 started off really good,” Sobol said. “I was 1-over through six and 7 through 11 I played five holes and was 7-over and that took me out of it. There was just a lot of emotions going. I was trying to press for birdies and get back to that lead, or get back to that eighth place to get that medal. I didn't play very well today, but it could have been a lot worse.”
It was Sobol's final round playing for the Oilers, but the bittersweet part was it was also his father Dave Sobol's last day as the head coach of the EA-WR boys' golf program. Dave Sobol has coached the Oilers for the last 12 seasons.
“A lot of stuff went through my head, especially the last hole or two,” coach Sobol said. “I thought of my oldest son Marc. He started as a freshman and turned out to be a good player. There were just a whole bunch of emotions and they were to myself. I thought about Johnny Stimac and Mike Sabatino and all the wonderful kids I had and taking the team to state a couple years ago.
“Brenden Allen was there (this weekend), because he went to state with us, and he stayed with us and watched Drew. It was special.”
The Sobols will get to continue a golfing career together though. Dave recently accepted an assistant coaching position at McKendree University and Drew has verbally committed to golf for the Bearcats.
“It was really was emotional, but knowing that I'm signing with McKendree and I'm going to have another four years of golf after this is awesome,” Sobol said. “But knowing high school is going to be over and all the fun times of dad being there with me every second and every shot it's kind of sad, but knowing he'll be there with me at McKendree too is an awesome feeling.”