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Warriors, Dukes deal with tough competition at Emerald Hill

Great day for improvement

STERLING – Chilly temperatures that dipped into the mid-40s gave way to sunny skies Saturday, as golfers competing in the 47th Sterling Invitational were treated to near-perfect conditions at Emerald Hill.

The host Golden Warriors took 11th place out of 13 teams, finishing with a total of 399 strokes. Dixon rounded out the field with a total of 442, just one shot back of Rochelle.

The top local was Sterling’s Nathaniel Stout, who fired an 88. The senior was solid throughout his round, making the turn in 43 and closing with a 45.

“He played really well. His short game was good, from what I got to see,” Sterling coach Nick Hubbard said of Stout. “Nathaniel doesn’t do a whole lot really well, but he does enough to be pretty decent. He’s straight off the tee, and doesn’t get into much trouble. He’s got a good attitude when he’s out there, and that’s a big part of it.”

Luke Steinke, competing as the Warriors’ No. 1, looked to be headed toward a possible top-10 finish after the front nine. Steinke made birdies on the par-5 8th and the par-4 9th, making the turn at 5-over-par 41. However, the senior was plagued by bad swings on the back nine, and finished with a 95 for the tournament.

Carter Schlegel (107) and Jaydon Shuman (109) rounded out Sterling’s counting scores. Carter Lehman (120) and Josh O’Brien (121) also competed for the Golden Warriors.

“We’ve got a bunch of kids that are learning to play,” Hubbard said. “They get better every time they play, and Nathaniel took a huge step. We had a great tournament with a lot of great teams, and it was fun.”

No Dixon golfer broke 50 on either nine at Emerald Hill. Ethan Sherman put together two nine-hole rounds of 52 for the Dukes’ low score of 104, while Ryan Lawton closed with a 51 on the back for 105.

Grant Jacobs (116) and Michael Ludens (117) rounded out Dixon’s counting scores. Brennan Miller (127) also competed for the Dukes.

Kaneland won the team title with 314 strokes, led by medalist Will Marshall. A Nebraska commit, Marshall shot 34 on both the front and back nines, finishing at 4-under-par 68.

DeKalb finished second with 322, as the Barbs had three golfers finish with scores of 83 or better.

Anthony Ruthey paced Riverdale to a third-place finish with a 3-under round of 69.

Two of the top girls golfers in northwest Illinois also competed in the tournament. Minnesota commit and DeKalb senior Emma Carpenter
carded an 85, while Rochelle’s Megan Thiravong led the Hubs with a 91.

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