Birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie.
Behold Lake Forest High School’s collective, astounding 7-under-par performance on the fifth hole of the second day at last weekend’s Class 3A state boys’ golf tournament in Bloomington.
“Huge,” Scouts senior Patrick Moorhead says of the dinky number of shots—including junior Charlie Haggerty’s eagle—his team needed to solve the par-5 hole at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course.
Bigger news than that on October 19?
Lake Forest High School catapulted from there to claim the fifth state championship in program history and fourth under head coach Jim Matheson. The Scouts, who trailed Glenbrook North High School’s Spartans by 10 strokes after Round 1 October 18, won the tournament by an impressive eight strokes with a 601 total.
Glenbrook North finished runner-up (609), ahead of third-place New Trier High School (611).
“We knew we’d be fine after the first round,” says Moorhead, who was better than fine by taking runner-up honors with a 3-under-par 141 (72-69), one stroke behind medalist Ben Sluzas (71-69) of Lockport Township High School.
“Our game plan,” last year’s ninth-place finisher at state adds, “was to simplify things, play our game. And have each guy pick up two stokes on his Glenbrook North counterpart. We all played with the mindset, ‘This is gettable.’ ”
LFHS junior Flynn Bradley chipped in for an eagle on the par-4 15th hole en route to a 75. He ended up tying sophomore teammate Jack Marshall for 20th place in the individual standings with a 79-75; Marshall shot 78-76.
“Flynn’s eagle,” Moorhead says, “was clutch. That sealed it for us, big-time.”
Haggerty (25th-place tie, 82-73) wound up as the Scouts’ No. 4 scorer, ahead of juniors Pierce Grieve (79-77) and Colin Jasper (79-78).
Moorhead’s iron play was sharp all weekend. He carded nine birdies in 36 holes and deserved every calorie of his post-tourney feast at a downstate Portillo’s: cheeseburger, fries, chocolate milkshake.
“We ate and talked about our golf shots,” Moorhead says. “Our coach, such a great coach, was super pumped.”
The school plans to honor the state champion Scouts at halftime of the home football game against Stevenson High School October 25.
New Trier: The Trevians bagged the program’s fifth state trophy in seven years with their third-place showing last weekend. Junior Charlie Creamean led the way with a sturdy ninth-place
finish (73-76), followed by senior Daniel Tanaka (16th place, 78-75), senior Brian Joseph (76-78), junior Michael Rudnick (79-78), sophomore James Pryor (79-81), and senior Davis Johnson (77-86).
Loyola Academy: Ramblers senior Sam Maylee tied for 25th place (79-76) at last week- end’s Class 3A state tournament.
North Shore Country Day: Raiders sophomore Luke Madigan tied for 25th place (78-82) at the Class 1A boys’ state golf tournament at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
Girls: Loyola Academy returned to the scene—Hickory Point Golf Club, in downstate Forsyth—of its season’s turning point last weekend and collected a state trophy.
The Ramblers, who had captured the Eisenhower Invitational title at Hickory Point on September 21, toured the same course October 18-19 and finished in third place (636) at the Class 2A state tournament.
Senior Grace Kryscio paced the effort with a 16th-place-tying 79-75, followed by freshman Bailey Bitbabo (75-82), senior Mary Boesen (78-82), and senior Cate O’Brien (84-81). Sophomore Kendall Beil (91-89) and junior Caroline Magner (88-92) also competed for the Wilmette school at the par-72 layout.
Stevenson (601) and Barrington (602) high schools finished 1-2.
“We could see our potential at the Eisenhower Invite, and momentum pushed us from there,” third-year Loyola Academy coach Carli McKenney recalls. “They stayed focused at state, took it one shot at a time, and never got ahead of themselves.”
Kryscio, the club’s top finisher at the Hoffman Estates Sectional on October 14, sandwiched birdies around a double-bogey on the back 9 of her second round at state. She carded a team-best four birdies in the final round of her prep career.
“Grace came on strong for us at the end of the season,” McKenney says. “She’s a solid all-around player.”
O’Brien also emerged as an integral Rambler in the last three weeks, contributing steady rounds as the team’s No. 4 scorer. Her 81 in Round 2 at state helped Loyola Academy hold off fourth-place finisher Lincoln-Way Central High School (641) for the third-place prize— Loyola Academy’s first top-three state finish since the program earned its third straight runner-up trophy in 2015.
“Cate’s scores were important, and Mary Boesen was a rock for us all season,” says McKenney, a former golfer at Carmel Catholic High School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Par for the course, off the courses, for McKenney’s crew all fall?
“The girls truly liked being around each other,” the coach says. “They loved the high school golf experience. I’ll never forget the van rides to our meets, with music blaring, the girls singing, and the girls getting pumped up to compete.”
New Trier: The Trevians finished in eighth place at state (650) behind junior Audrey Tir’s 79-79 (28th-place tie).