Going to school in a city doesn’t guarantee insider knowledge of each of its golf courses.
For proof, look no further than the St. Charles East girls’ score of 220 in Thursday’s dual loss to Naperville North at St. Charles Country Club.
“For many of them, it was the first time playing the course, and we couldn’t adjust to the speed of the greens,” Saints coach Rod Osborne said. “Putting was a major issue for the night, but hopefully they can learn from that.”
With just two seniors on the roster, Osborne expects growing pains at this point of the season. The key to success remains how quickly the Saints internalize them.
“We’re very young and inexperienced this year,” Osborne said. “The great thing is the young kids have a great, great attitude toward learning about the game.”
Blessed with a wealth of senior talent last season, Batavia boys coach Tim DeBruycker knew he’d be in for at least a slight rebuilding project in 2013.
After promising tryouts from sophomores Nick Robinson, Andrew Nelson and Blake Lawrence, he sees a quicker end to that process than before.
“If my sophomores can mature a little bit and I can keep my seniors shooting 75-78, I think we’ll be OK,” DeBruycker said.
Nick Bleidorn and Jacob Piechota are returning seniors for the Bulldogs, whose top six will otherwise entail “almost all newcomers,” DeBruycker said.
The Sept. 30 UEC girls championships will be held at a familiar setting – St. Andrews in West Chicago – but include a new team.
West Chicago moved in to the UEC Valley this season, replacing Lake Park.
“That’ll be kind of nice getting another competitive school in there,” Geneva girls coach Eric Hatczel said. “Getting another test, a new face and some more competition.”
– Kevin Druley, firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THE GROOVE
St. Charles East, Sr.
What she did: Crane earned medalist honors Wednesday with a 43 at Mill Creek Golf Club, outdueling Batavia’s Lauren Anderson by one stroke as the Saints won a UEC River dual.
What the Knights did: While Matt Yonkovich shot 36 to lead Kaneland to a home dual victory against Marengo on Thursday, Stephen Cannell, Jesse Denton and Jeremy Faletto each were just three strokes behind.
WHAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEK
Golfers slogged through extensive lightning delays during this weekend’s storms, too, although not as long as their football brethren. The St. Charles North boys, for one, waited two hours Saturday morning as officials at the Fenton Invitational deliberated whether to proceed. The event was canceled two hours after play was suspended.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Whether Batavia or Geneva gains girls bragging rights. The two rivals meet at Sugar Grove’s Bliss Creek Golf Course on Thursday afternoon in an Upstate Eight Conference River Division dual. The Bulldogs will look to cash in on home course advantage. They’re scheduled to host each of the other Tri-Cities teams this season.
COACH SLY SAYS
Sly’s liked what he’s seen from some of the early season duals and Ryder Cup-inspired events in these parts, but the upcoming weekend invitationals really should start to show us something as the postseason creeps ever closer.
Mother Nature wiped out play this past weekend, but there are plenty of chances for teams to see what they’ve got for the Saturday slate.
Nine holes are fine, but 18 is the currency of October golf.