The Highland High School boys golf team swung to two impressive tournament finishes to start the season.
First on Tuesday, Aug. 15, the Bulldogs finished third out of 23 teams at the Alton Redbird Tee-Off Classic at the par-72 Spencer T. Olin Golf Course in Alton.
Next on Thursday, Highland earned second-place honors at the Madison County Tournament at Belk Park Golf Course in Wood River.
Alton Tee-Off Classic
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While Edwardsville won the tournament with a team-best score of 311, Highland actually tied Quincy for second place at 322. However, Quincy earned second place by a single stroke on the fifth score tiebreaker.
Rounding out the top five teams were Alton Marquette (328) and O’Fallon (334). Triad finished eighth at 340.
Each team only got to bring five players to the tournament, with the four best individual scorers counting toward the team total.
Alton Marquette’s Kolten Bauer won the individual medalist honors after turning in a round of even-par 72.
Rounding out the top five were Quincy’s Jimmie Patterson (73), Edwardsville’s Ben Tyrrell (75), O’Fallon’s Logan Lowery (75) and Springfield’s Adler Boatman (76).
Senior Brandon Munie led the Bulldogs after carding a 5-over-par 77, which was good enough for eighth place overall in the individual standings.
Senior Ben Brauns and freshman Evan Sutton tied for 17th place after shooting matching rounds of 81. The Highland duo was just one stroke off earning a top-15 medal.
Junior Dylan Bargetzi rounded out Highland’s 322 team score with an 83 while senior Connor Pinsker was Highland’s fifth scorer with an 86.
Bargetzi scored a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole. He hit an approach wedge that dropped in the hole from about 130 yards away for the ace.
“Overall, I was very pleased with the way they played,” Highland coach Brent James said. “The course was playing tough and they didn’t let that get them discouraged. They kept grinding. It was great to see all the hard work they have put in translate to success. Hopefully, this will serve as motivation to keep up the hard work. Evan Sutton shooting 81 as a freshman was very impressive. He stepped right up in his first taste of varsity golf. His demeanor on the course looked like a veteran not a first timer.”
Two days after finishing third in the season opener, Highland posted another noteworthy finish after earning second-place honors at the Madison County Tournament at Belk park Golf Course in Wood River.
But the Bulldogs were a distant runner-up to Edwardsville, which went on to win the large-school division of the annual county tourney with an impressive four-man score of 296, which was 31 strokes lower than Highland’s second-place total of 327.
It was the sixth consecutive county championship for the Tigers and their second straight tournament title this season.
Edwardsville senior Ben Tyrrell earned medalist honors with an eye-popping round of 3-under-par 69 to repeat as the individual couinty champion.
Tyrrell won the county tournament’s individual title a year ago with an even more amazing round of 5-under-par 67.
Edwardsville senior Jon Raterman and sophomore Hunter James shared second place with matching rounds of 75.
The Bulldogs’ 327 had them comfortably in second place ahead of the rest of the large-school field: Triad (345), Collinsville (353), Granite City (358) and Alton (375).
Munie led the Bulldogs again after turning in a noteworthy round of 77 for the second straight tournament to share fourth-place honors with Edwardsville sophomore Trevor Laub.
Also counting towards Highland’s team score of 327 were Brauns (82), Bargetzi (84) and freshman Evan Sutton (84).
“The team ball striking was excellent, but putting led us to some higher scores than what we posted on Tuesday,” James said. “Again, I really liked our composure on the course. Although putts were not dropping, the team really kept it together to salvage their rounds and post a respectable score. We are going to have to dial in the putters to get scores where we would like them to be. You can bet that we will spend quite a bit of time on the practice green.”
Alton Marquette shot 302 to win the small-school championship and finish just five shots behind Edwardsville’s winning score. The Explorers also posted the top three individual scores among the smaller schools.
For Marquette, Jack Patterson shot a 3-under 69 to match Tyrrell for the overall top scorer while teammates Kolten Bauer and Sam Cogan each shot a 1-over 73.