ST. CHARLES – For Geneva sophomore Spencer Monroe, winning first place in the boys junior division at Friday's Illinois Junior Golf Association No. 10 Regional was pretty special – especially considering it was his first time competing at Pheasant Run Golf Course.
Monroe led the pack with a 76, while St. Charles East sophomore Michael Bertke followed closely behind with a 77 and a second-place finish.
“I played pretty well, especially with putting and chipping. It just feels good to win this event,” Monroe said. “I expected to shoot a lot worse, but after six or seven holes, I realized I was playing pretty well and I had a chance at winning this.”
Monroe started the day on the right foot with a birdie, but followed it up with a double bogey on the next hole. That wouldn't slow Monroe down, as he managed to shoot par on five consecutive holes, which set the tone for his afternoon. As the afternoon progressed, Monroe was able to sprinkle in three birdies, vaulting him to victory.
“I felt pretty good going into the tournament…I wasn't that nervous. I was practicing the last two, three days at the driving range,” he said.
However, when it came time to tee off, Monroe admitted to be a little nervous with people watching, but afterwards, he said he felt “totally fine.”
With the tournament win, Monroe hopes to build on the success, as he is preparing for tryouts on the Geneva varsity team in August. Monroe is hoping to clean up his game, in particular, his driving.
Just keep practicing.
In the boys senior division, five golfers all finished with a 79, prompting a playoff between them. Aurora native Jeremy Forbes ultimately came out on top.
While St. Charles East junior Kevin Sobieski didn't compete the way he wanted to, he still felt his performance was “pretty good,” citing he wanted to shoot in the high 70s because he didn't want to “psyche himself out in front of potential colleges watching him.” Sobieski finished with an 85.
“Some greens were faster than others, some were straight; those surprised [me],” he said. “My putts were not quality today.”
Sobieski is looking to put this one behind him quickly, as he has his sights set on another tournament, the Warren Golf Classic, in South Bend, Indiana, on Monday and Tuesday.
For the girl's junior division, Buffalo Grove's Haeri Lee won first-place, with a 79 score, and in the senior division, Naperville's Niquole Mangal took home first-place honors with a score of 76. Batavia's Erin Ewert finished seventh with a 95.
“[Today's event] went really smoothly,” IJGA director of playing services Brett Dreier said. ”Last year's events (except senior boys) got rained out, so it was some good golf today … the course was in good shape.”