SPRING VALLEY – Bureau Valley’s Ian Carl didn’t expect his score to matter much Tuesday at the 1A St. Bede Regional.
But as more scores came into the clubhouse at Spring Creek Golf Course, his 97 made the difference in a tiebreaker that gave the Storm a third-place finish over Newman, sending BV to the Rockford Christian Sectional at Elliot Golf Course in Rockford Monday as the Comets’ season came to a crushing close.
“I’ve played in tournaments myself where it’s like this, but as a coach it’s so much worse,” Bureau Valley coach Jack Gustafson said. “You can’t do anything about it. I didn’t know where we were, but we knew Colton (Novotny) had to maintain. We didn’t know what Newman had, but we knew we had to beat Princeton. When it gets down to the end like that, it gets hard on an old guy’s heart.”
Princeton had posted a total of 355 by the time the final groups from Bureau Valley, Newman, Riverdale and Putnam County were coming in. Novotny made par on the par-3 18th, and his Newman playing partner Jacob Rude got up-and-down for par to deadlock the Storm and Comets at 353 strokes apiece.
Carl’s 97 bested Newman’s No. 5, Josh Payan, who shot a 102.
Carl would never would have guessed his score would be so important, but was glad to be able to get the Storm over the edge.
“Shooting a 97, I thought my score would be completely out of it,” he said. “I found out we tied for third and I knew they would card back so that was a great feeling. I’m glad I got the tiebreaker, but I could have done better. It was good enough to win, I guess.”
Novotny was solid in leading the Storm, shooting 41 on both sides for an 82. Corbin Walsh fired a pair of 44s on each nine for 88. Spencer Marquez (90) and Trent DeVenney (93), as well as Carl’s 97, were the other counting scores for BV, which qualified for sectionals for the first time in school history.
“It’s very exciting because we’re the first Bureau Valley golf team to go past regionals in the 22 years that the school’s been there,” Carl said.
The Storm will be joined at Monday’s Rockford Christian Life Sectional at Elliott Golf Course in Rockford Monday, Oct. 9, by five local individual qualifiers, including Amboy-LaMoille’s Caleb Sarff (79) and Clayton Kemp (83), St. Bede’s Peyton Pyszka (80) and John Potthoff (88) and Princeton’s Ian Legner (87).
Sarff, a LaMoille senior, shot 38 on the front nine and 41 on the back for 79. He made it to sectionals all four years of his high school career, going as the No. 6 golfer for the Clippers his freshman year and as an individual the last 3 years. The senior will be looking for his first state appearance.
“I’ve got my sights set on state. That’s my goal. That’s what I’ve been itching to get to,” Sarff said. “I had to keep my nose to the grindstone today, because there were some good players here.”
Princeton (355) missed a tie for third by two strokes, settling for fifth, paced by Legner’s 87. Also scoring for the Tigers were Keaton Burres (89), Caleb Alter (89) and Conner Alter (90).
St. Bede (361) came in sixth with Seth Ludford (96) and Nathan Potthoff (97) adding to the scoring.
Amboy-LaMoille (367) finished seventh in the 14-team field.
Chance Resetich (94) was the leading golfer for 13th-place Hall.
Riverdale won its fourth straight regional title, claiming the top team spot with a 310 total. However, Putnam County’s Ian Roach denied the Rams’ Tyler Bussert from a 4-peat as a regional medalist. Roach shot an even-par 72, while Bussert was a stroke behind at 73.
Putnam County finished second with a 316 total.
BCR Sports Editor Kevin Hieronymus contributed to this story.
1A St. Bede Regional
1. Riverdale 310
2. Putnam County 316
3. Bureau Valley 353
Medalist: Ian Roach (Putnam County) 72.
Other local sectional qualifiers: Caleb Sarff (A-L) 79, Clayton Kemp (A-L) 83, Peyton Pyszka St. Bede) 80, Ian Legner (Princeton) 87, John Potthoff (St. Bede) 88.