High School sports are back for the fall of 2020. On a windy but pleasant day at Naperville Country Club, all six local boys golf teams are competing once again in the Vern McGonagle Memorial Tournament. New safety protocols in place with masks being used in between players taking their shots.
Waubonsie Valley lost it’s top two golfers in Will Troy and Jacob Fritz to graduation, but Kenton Esch returns and sinks a birdie putt on the 8th hole as the Warriors look to return to the top of the leaderboard after winning the tourney back in 2018.
Teammate Salil Khanduja follows up that effort with a great chip shot from the fairway that rolls feet from the pin. He would make the birdie putt as well and finish with a team best round of 82.
On to hole #12 and Benet Academy’s Jack DiTrani with a brilliant read on this break for the birdie. He then receives the fake air handshake with Naperville Central’s Andrew Maul to celebrate. DiTrani with a round of 80 is tops for the defending McGonagle champions.
On to 16 and Metea Valley’s Aman Shah recovers nicely after his birdie putt was too strong and saves par with a 12 footer, helping him to a round of 83.
Benet getting some help from Ryan Curtiss who lofts this iron shot from the rough…wait for it…there it is. The ball settles down less than six feet from the pin. 86 on the day for Curtiss.
Still on 16 with Logan Hoag from Naperville North. This par putt is well paced and well placed as it finds the center of the cup.
Huskie teammate Ethan Kilgore with the best round of the day for North. This putt on 16 is a beauty and Kilgore is fired up for his score of 85.
Andrew Maul from Naperville Central shows he can do more than come up with clever handshakes, he fires this fairway shot up near the flagstick. He goes on to par from there and finishes the round with a score of 87.
The top Redhawk of the day is Brian Izzo. He ends his day with a nifty ten foot put on 18 and is clearly pumped up to have a team best round of 84.
Metea Valley Sand Shots
Normally the sand trap is not where you want to be, but Metea Valley often made the best of this tough situation throughout the tourney. First Eli Oakes on 8 sets himself up for par, then Arjun Vyas right on the edge of the trap on 18 delivers a great out. And finally Kyle Bucher nearly holes out from a different bunker on 18. 87 for Oakes, 83 for Vyas and 85 for Bucher as the Mustangs finish third on the day.
But it would be Neuqua Valley earning the team trophy in the 18th annual Vern McGonagle Memorial. Calvin Steger with a round of 84 just one day after winning the Bob Sterr tournament for NV. Ryan Coan also with an 84 as he taps in on 18. Alec Cross the most experience Wildcat returnee with a brilliant fairway shot on 18 to set up a tap in. Cross is your 2020 individual champion with a +7 round of 79. Gus Herzberg taps in to finish with an 83 to round out the top four Wildcats, who top Benet Academy by five strokes. Elbow bumps all around for the return of high school golf!
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Justin Cornwell.
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