Playing in his first Class 3A sectional tournament, Loyola senior Christopher Lee said he wasn’t nervous teeing it up Monday at Mount Prospect Golf Club.
Even if he was, Lee didn’t show it by carding an even-par 70 to tie for first place. He earned medalist after winning a three-person playoff, which included Loyola senior Peter Radler.
“All of us were kind of relaxed going into it,” Lee said. “We’ve been playing well all season, and everyone is clicking right now. We aren’t doing anything differently.”
That’s a good thing.
The Ramblers’ 7-over 287 was good enough to capture their second consecutive sectional championship, besting runner-up Fenwick by 17 strokes. It was the team’s third tournament win in a row and secured the Ramblers a trip to the state tournament, which is Friday and Saturday at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.
Senior Ryan Savarie’s 72 and sophomore Patrick Adler’s 75 counted toward Loyola’s score. The Ramblers had three in the top four, with Lee first, Radler tied for second and Savarie tied for fourth. Senior Jack Crawshaw (76) and junior Sam Maylee (82) also competed at the sectional. Crawshaw was medalist at last week’s regional tournament at Wilmette Golf Club.
“It seems like it’s someone different leads us every week,” Loyola head coach Tim Kane said. “That’s what I love about us. We don’t have to rely on the same kids every week.”
The Ramblers have been on a remarkable roll since winning the Catholic League on Sept. 26. In the last three tournaments, the six players have averaged 74.9 over 18 rounds, with 82 being the highest score.
“That’s huge,” Lee said. “That’s what you need to do.”
This is the second season in a row the Ramblers have won both regional and sectional titles, and it marks the program’s third consecutive appearance at the state tournament. Loyola finished fifth last season, and Crawshaw, Radler and Savarie all were in the lineup. Radler was the team’s low finisher after tying for eighth.
GIRLS: The Ramblers will return to the Class AA state tournament for the second consecutive season after taking second Monday at the sectional tournament at Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove.
Leading Loyola, which posted 325 and seven strokes behind sectional champion New Trier, was senior Lilly Gentzkow. She shot an 8-over 78 to finish fourth. Junior Mary Boesen, the medalist at last week’s regional tournament, shot 79 and tied for fifth. Senior Shea Graf tied for seventh with an 82, and junior Grace Kryscio carded an 86.
Sophomore Caroline Magner (87) and junior Cate O’Brien (88) also competed Monday.
The state tournament is Friday and Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur. Boesen, Gentzkow, Graf and Kryscio all were in Loyola’s lineup a year ago when the Ramblers finished eighth.