Coming into the final day of the golf season, the Sterling Golden Warriors were hoping to make a big move up the leaderboard at the IHSA Class 2A state golf tournament.
The improvement wasn’t what the Warriors hoped for, but they secured the second-best finish in school history. Sterling came into the day in 10th place, and finished ninth with a 666, 98 strokes over par and 44 behind winner Boylan.
“We finished in the top 10 in the state, and there’s not much to be disappointed about as a team,” Sterling senior Kyle Sinn said.
“It’s a pretty special finish to my senior season.”
Sinn’s 2-day total of 165 (23-over par) tied for 58th and was the second-best score for Sterling, behind classmate Trevor Sisson’s 162 (20-over par), which was good for a tie for 38th. Both double-bogeyed their final hole.
Sinn said none of the Warriors were “exactly happy” with their rounds, and said the wind was trickier than it was Friday at Normal’s Weibring Golf Club. He specifically mentioned junior Ryan Hurley, who Sinn said “didn’t put together the round that he deserved to.”
Sisson added that it was the putting that once again limited Sterling, saying that most of the strokes he and his teammates left on the course came on the greens.
“If everyone doesn’t miss one putt, that puts us in sixth, and it all comes down to that,” Sisson said. “But this was the first time at state for us, and we wanted to make the most of everything. It was a pretty positive experience, a goal of mine since freshman year, and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Hurley (27-over-par 169) and Zach Rehmert (28-over-par 170) also counted toward the Warriors’ team score, while Austin Cook (32-over-par 174) and Lucas Campbell (38-over-par 180) also competed.
Sisson was two strokes better Saturday, while Rehmert and Campbell matched their first-round scores. Sinn was one shot higher on Day 2, while Cook was two shots higher and Hurley three.
The ninth-place finish is one spot behind the Warriors’ eighth-place finish at the 2011 state tournament, and the total score was nine strokes higher.
Boylan not only won the team title, but the Titans’ Danny Gorman also won individually with an even-par 142, beating Burlington Central’s Matt Weber by one stroke.
Rock Falls and Dixon were also represented at the 2A tournament. Rocket senior Andrew Tichler tied for 49th with a 22-over-par 164, and Dukes senior Ryan Dixon tied for 83rd with a 30-over-par 172.
Tichler played the back nine in 1-under par, making up for a bogey on No. 17 with birdies on 11 and 15. He had three bogeys and six pars on the front nine to shoot a 2-over-par 73, 18 strokes better than his first-round 91. He improved 51 spots from where he finished Friday.
Dixon moved up two spots in the standings, and his 85 was two strokes better than his first-round 87. He didn’t have a birdie on his card, but had seven pars, eight bogeys, and limited the damage on a few of holes for three double-bogeys.
“I felt like I was hitting some great shots, but the wind would take them and it would put me in trouble in places where I didn’t think I’d be,” Dixon said. “Some things just didn’t go my way, and it was frustrating at times, but I just kept telling myself that I was playing my last high-school round among the best golfers in the state. It’s been a dream of mine, and I just tried to enjoy it as much as I could.”