ST. CHARLES – Some of the area’s best junior golfers battled the elements as well as the Pheasant Run Resort course Friday.
For the most part, the elements came out on top.
Rain and lightning cut short the Illinois Junior Golf Association regional tournament, but not before Grant Manno of Arlington Heights shot a 1-over-par 73 to win the boys’ senior competition, the only division that finished 18 holes before a strong thunderstorm halted play.
“I played really well considering it was windy out,” Manno said. “My putter still let me down on the greens – they’re tricky to read.”
Manno, who graduated from Hersey this spring and will play golf at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, this fall, said he had played the course only one other time.
“It was in really nice condition,” he said. “Besides the wind, it was in very good shape.”
The wind gave plenty of other golfers problems, too, including Brody Kuhar of Elburn, an incoming Kaneland senior whose third-place finish was the best among local entrants. Kuhar fired a 78, one stroke behind Trevor Sisson of Sterling.
“I started out great,” Kuhar said. “I shot even on the front nine. … My ball striking and putting were decent today, but definitely not my best.”
Kuhar started his round on the 10th tee, so his back nine was actually the first nine holes of the course.
He ran into difficulty with some of the par-3 holes on his back nine.
“They’re just tough,” Kuhar said. “They’re long and the wind was in my face on most of them.”
Kuhar double-bogeyed No. 2, a 205-yard par-3 hole, and bogeyed the other two par-3 holes on the front nine of the course.
The highlights of the round for Kuhar were birdies on the par-4 10th hole and the par-5 15th.
Kuhar is off to a fast start this summer, having won an IJGA regional tournament at Phillips Park in Aurora and placing second in another regional at Fox Bend in Oswego.
Kuhar said he is focusing on the mental part of the game, “being able to stay up when something bad happens.
“Usually, when I have a bad hole,” he said, “I can come back with something [good]. … Last year, I would blow up following a bad hole.”
Nathan Desens of Geneva tied for fourth at Pheasant Run, one shot behind Kuhar.
Seven golfers finished at 80 to tie for sixth place, including Kyle Jacobs of St. Charles, Matt Yonkovich of Sugar Grove and Alex Schreiber of Geneva.