GENEVA – Luke Hoss wasn’t even sure he was going to play golf this week.
The junior from Marmion was on the waiting list for the IJGA-CDGA Junior Amateur Open at Mill Creek, and when he showed up at the course Wednesday morning, there wasn’t a guaranteed spot for him in the field.
Luckily for Hoss, there was a cancellation and he was able to compete in the tournament, finishing in sixth place with a 3-over par 216. He shot 70 Friday.
“It’s really exciting. I hit the ball really well today and played really well over the past three days,” said Hoss, a Sugar Grove resident. “This is definitely the best tournament of my career.”
Hoss' sixth-place finish came after back-to-back days at 1-under par. He was one of just four players in the field to be under par in the final round and finished five strokes behind winner Andrew Huber of Winnetka.
Huber set himself up for victory by going 6-under in the first two rounds and was able to still claim the trophy despite a final round 75.
Hoss kept an even keel for the whole round – 15 pars to go with one bogey and two birdies on his second-consecutive day at 1-under. Hoss credited his ball striking for the strong round, as his only bogey on the card came from a three-putt.
Although Hoss was happy with the round as a whole, there was extra satisfaction in conquering No. 18, which had been troublesome in the first two rounds.
Round 1 saw Hoss triple bogey the par 4 18th, and he bogeyed the final hole Thursday. Friday was a different story as Hoss ended the three-day tournament on a high note with a birdie.
“My short game was perfect,” he said. “When my short game is on, I’d say I’m a pretty good player.”
Burlington Central’s Joseph Sherman was right on the cut line Thursday and ended in a tie for 25th after a final round 77. Sherman opened with a bogey on three of the first four holes but would finish the front nine at even par with three birdies on the next three holes.
Sherman, who will be a sophomore in the fall, thought he left a few shots out on the course – especially on the back nine, where he carded a 42 – but was happy for the experience of making the cut at a multi-day tournament.
“It was up and down on the front nine, but on the back I kind of fell apart,” Sherman said. “I was looking to shoot in the low to mid 70s. Other than that, it was a fun day.”
Graham Lillibridge of Geneva also finished up with a 77 and his 12-over 225 for the tournament earned him 22nd place. Lillibridge continued his strong play on the back nine Friday with an even par 36. For the tournament, the junior at Geneva was three-under on the back nine.