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Alton's Andrew Campbell tees off on Hole No. 5 at Lockhaven Golf Club Monday in a triangular with Marquette and Jersey.
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Duncan McLain putts on Hole No. 5 at Lockhaven vs. Alton and Jersey Monday.
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Steve Elliott of the Explorers watches his tee shot on Hole No. 5 at Lockhaven on Monday.
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Alton's Phyllip DeLoach hits an iron shot on Hole No. 5 vs. Marquette and Jersey Monday at Lockhaven.
GODFREY - It's a friendly rivalry, but a rivalry nonetheless and Marquette Catholic now holds the bragging rights over the Alton Redbirds.
The Explorers carded a 155 Monday at Lockhaven Golf Club in Godfrey to get by Alton, which shot a 169. Jerseyville was also there, coming in third with a 178.
"It's always nice playing the crosstown high school and even if it's just once a year it's still nice to do," Marquette head coach Pat Moore said. "I know they do it in Quincy and take it pretty seriously. Not a lot of towns have two high schools, so it's nice to do this every now and then."
First-year Alton head coach Zach Deeder was really hoping for some better results, but he knew the competition his squad was up against with the Explorers.
"We were going to measure ourselves tonight by how well we did against Marquette," Deeder said. "Par wasn't really what we were going after, we were going after them to see if we could stack up. We kind of surprised ourselves against Edwardsville (Sept. 8) and in all honesty, Marquette's just as good if not better than Edwardsville this year, so 14 strokes behind was not what we had in mind."
The Redbirds were only four strokes off the mark with the Tigers at Lockhaven on Sept. 8. Marquette was fresh off of playing in the All Catholic Tournament at Lockhaven over the weekend, so Moore believed that helped the Explorers on Monday, especially in soggy conditions with light rain falling during the triangular.
"I think it really helps because I know it's in their minds if they had some bad holes," Moore said. "They're going to think, 'Man, this is what I did Saturday, so let's try and get this back to par instead of a double or a bogey.' It helps with repetition, getting to know the course better."
The hot hand of sophomore Michael Holtz helped, too. Holtz continued his successful 2014 campaign by earning medalist honors Monday carding a 1-under 35.
Holtz credits his accuracy to his success so far this season.
"With the rain it's pretty tough," he said. "The ball doesn't roll out at all, especially on drives. I'm not a very long hitter in the first place. It feels good to beat Alton, we lost by 18 shots last year, so it feels good to win this year.
"It was my putting and I hit a lot of fairways. It's just accuracy really. I hit a lot of fairways and then I hit the green within 20 feet and tee putted pretty much. I had one birdie out there."
Holtz was joined by fellow sophomore Nick Messenger (38), Max Goepel (40) and Andrew McCluskey (42) to round out the team scoring.
Sophomore Duncan McLain of the Explorers also fired a 42, while Steve Elliott (43) and Jack Patterson (46) also competed in the triangular.
Moore praised having a lot of young talent. It's got him excited about his program.
"(Holtz) is having an amazing year," Moore said. "The kid shot 1-under on Saturday and with him being so young, just a sophomore, I don't even think he can drive yet and he's already shooting these scores. The best is yet to come."
Alton was led by Andrew Campbell with a 40 on Monday. Max Hunter (42), Alex Rubin (43) and Mitch Klug (44) joined in on the scoring for the Redbirds. Also participating were: Sam Ballard (46), Phyllip DeLoach (46), Nick Jamison (49) and Jacob Skrabacz (55).
Deeder said Alton's inconsistency as a team has come from an inconsistency from its players. It's been a different AHS linkster leading the charge on different nights for the most part and Deeder is trying to preach consistency.
"He's getting more consistent," Deeder said of Campbell leading the way Monday. "We'll have guys shoot 36 one day and then 46, so we've got to work on our consistency, but we do have the ability to go low and we just haven't ham and egged it quite yet.
"Rubin has been really solid for us this year. He's played great, but we're kind of hinged on how he does and a couple other players and hopefully somebody else can pitch in. Having a Holtz and a Messinger and a McCluskey, it's a lot more winnable."