Effingham Daily News
It was another sectional tournament with another strong performance for the St. Anthony golf team at Crab Orchard Golf Course in Carterville on Monday.
Worried that they might not advance at the beginning of the day, the Bulldogs shot a 309 to run away the tournament title by 14 strokes.
Nashville finished second with a 323 team score.
Senior Joe Powell led the way for St. Anthony, carding an even-par 70 to take home medalist honors. Sophomore Garrett Hixenbaugh shot a 74 to finish tied for third place.
“I thought I played pretty good,” Powell said. “I struck the ball pretty well today.”
St. Anthony coach Phil Zaccari agreed, saying the effort from his two team leaders was outstanding.
“They stepped up today,” he said. “You can’t say enough about Joe and Garrett. Their rounds were amazing today.”
Conner Greene (82), Jack Niebrugge (83), Dalton Anderson (84) and Cole Buehnerkemper (85) rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs.
St. Anthony will be heading back to the state tournament, at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington on Friday and Saturday.
Going as a team, instead of as a couple individuals, was important for Powell and the Bulldogs.
“That was our goal from the start of the year,” Powell said. “It definitely means a lot. It makes it better because you think you have more of a chance to advance as a team.”
“We always talk about the team more than the individual,” Zaccari said. “We’ll see if we can do better than last year.”
Last year, the Bulldogs finished sixth at state, something Zaccari thinks his team can improve upon with a little bit of putting practice.
“It’s always been the putting,” he said. “We will be doing a lot of putting this week. Putting is what is going to bring us through.”
Though Powell was pleased with his medalist performance, he said there are some things he needs to improve before Friday if he wants to improve at state.
“Definitely the short game,” he said. “And I’m going to work on my irons a little bit.”
Powell added that it was extra sweet to win sectionals this year, after losing out on medalist honors via a playoff last year.
“Last year I tied for medalist and lost the playoff, so I got second,” he said. “(Winning) was definitely the goal this year.”
“Joe was solid,” Zaccari said. “Where a lot of these pins were placed and some of these putts they had to make, that’s a wonderful round.”
Effingham sends one to state
With a score of 72 at Hickory Ridge Golf Course in Carbondale, Anthony Lechman of Effingham advanced to this weekend’s state final, to be played at Weibring Golf Club in Normal.
As a team, the Hearts missed out on a top-three finish and a trip to the state tournament by two strokes. Effingham shot a 306, it’s best-ever round at a sectional tournament, but Waterloo (297), Althoff Catholic (304) and Mount Carmel (304) claimed the three qualifying spots.
Jake Linders (76), Anthony Barrett (78), Jackson Wendling (80), Sean Sandifer (97) and Reed Schafer (101) rounded out the scoring for Effingham.
Rohlfing advances for Bulldogs
With a round of 2-over 74, Miranda Rohlfing of St. Anthony tied for medalist honors, but finished second overall after losing a playoff with Shawn Rennegarbe of Nashville.
Rohlfing will advance to state for the Bulldogs. The tournament will be played on Friday and Saturday at Red Trail Run Golf Course in Decatur.
Emmie Schultz shot a 91, missing out on advancing by one stroke. Mariah Bushue (100), Madison Bushue (105), Kyla Burton (120) and Sara Ragland (138) round out the scoring for St. Anthony.
Teutopolis finished in 12th place, with Holly Dust leading the way with a 111. Celeste Deters (112), Haley Giles (115), Leah Kremer (124), Ellie Ruholl (138) and Laura Wente (148) rounded out the scoring for the Wooden Shoes.