Peoria 2A boys golf regional
PEORIA — For the Princeton Tigers golf team, one door was closed for this season, but another remains open for three individuals in postseason play.
At Kellog Golf Course for the Peoria 2A regional on Monday, the Tiger team missed out of a top three finish (339), a mere nine strokes behind third place Washington (330), but three PHS players were top 10 sectional qualifiers.
Caleb Alter (78), Jamie Reinhardt (82) and Eli Strawn (86) advance to play in the Macomb 2A Sectional on Monday, Oct. 14, at Macomb Country Club.
“We shot what we could, had a really good front nine,” PHS coach Will Gross said. “Just hit some bumps in the road on the back nine.
“But we got three guys out of a tough 2A regional. Everything they did put us in good position, we just came up a little short today.”
The weather conditions were cool and sunny with nary a breeze, and Gross said the course was in fine shape.
“The guys that scored well figured out the greens,” he said. “This golf course is all about the greens, making your putts. I mean, we missed (third place) by nine strokes, and I can find them all on the greens.”
Alter, who finished sixth overall for the day, was pleased with his play.
“I had a pretty solid day, I felt comfortable on the front nine,” he said. “I struggled on the back nine for a little bit, but then I got over it, birdied and parred. Eliminated the big number today and it worked out pretty well.”
Reinhardt, Alter’s cousin, was also happy to make the day’s top 10.
“I started off well, shot a 40 on the front and a 42 on the back,” he said. “Just missed a few putts here and there. The greens, I wasn’t used to them, they were quick today, but I adjusted.”
The Tigers played a practice round at Kellog the day before, and Strawn commented on the difference between practice and competition for him.
“My driver wasn’t as good as it was (Sunday), but I putted just as well, maybe a little bit better, so that was good,” he said. “I definitely chipped better today.
“It played pretty similar to Oak Ridge because of the fast greens and the thick rough, I thought it set up well for me.”
Gross talked about what lies ahead for his advancing Tigers next Monday.
“It’s gonna be a tough 2A sectional there,” he said. “But all three of those guys have the potential, and if we stay focused and put together a game plan like we did here, I think we have a good shot of getting a couple of guys out of that sectional.”
Summing up the Tigers’ season, Gross said, “The team worked really hard all year long, and it’s just heartbreaking as a coach that they worked so hard and came up just a little bit short.
“I don’t have to tell these guys to go work hard, to get them out their houses during the summer,” he said. “They’re the ones calling extra practices, they’re the ones working hard all summer.
“I’m proud. Of them all.”
Peoria Notre Dame won the regional championship with a round of 302, while Dunlap was runner-up with a score of 327.
Mikey Wales of Notre Dame was the regional medalist with a score of 73.