Blake Wolfe recovered from an errant tee-shot on the 18th hole by sinking a 12-foot putt for bogey that secured both the individual title along with an IHSA Class 2A regional golf team championship for Charleston on Monday.
Wolfe hit 14 of 18 greens and needed only 32 putts to fire a 77 on the 6,690-yard Mattoon Country Club course, two strokes better than Paris’ Luke Bradley. Mattoon’s Meade Johnson took third place after carding 81, one stroke ahead of teammate Blaine Powers.
The tournament title, though, came down to Charleston and Mattoon’s fifth-best scores thanks to Wolfe’s recovery on No. 18. After hooking his tee shot out of bounds on the left side, Wolfe then drove about 270 yards down the fairway, hit the ensuing approach shot to within 12 feet and drained the putt to enable the Trojans to tie Mattoon.
Charleston’s Pierson Smith shot 85, while both Zach Will and Taylor Drake shot 86 apiece. Mattoon’s Colton Romine, meanwhile, also shot 85, one shot better than teammate Stewart Druin, to give both teams 334 total strokes for its top four players.
But Jackson Becker shot 91 for the Trojans, five strokes better than the Green Wave’s fifth player, thus giving CHS the regional championship.
“Coach Adkins and I told the players ten to twelve times that every stroke counts,” Charleston coach Scott Dow said, “and every shot counted today.”
Dow said they he’d never seen a postseason tournament rely on a tiebreaker to determine a team championship in his 19-year career.
“It was a rough day for us,” Dow said. “You go into the regional never knowing what’s going to happen. But we ultimately had pretty good success.”
Wolfe, who hurt his left knee on the fifth hole, had started strongly by nearly driving the green on the 330-yard par-4 opening hole, chipping on from about 20 yards out and making a short putt for birdie. He also made birdie on the 480-yard par-5 No. 5. After the injury, Wolfe shot double-bogey on both the 465-yard par-4 No. 7 and 550-yard par-5 eighth hole. But the CHS senior settled down thereafter, making par on nine of the next 10 holes – a double-bogey on the 355-yard par-4 No. 14 his only lapse.
“He really toughed it out,” Dow said.”I’m very proud of that.”
Charleston, Mattoon and third-place Paris advanced to the 12-team sectional tournament, which is set for next Monday at Charleston Country Club. The Green Wave have reached the sectional for nine straight years; it is the fourth successive year for the Trojans.
|7||Olney (Richland County)||367|
|Blake Wolfe (Sr.)||77|
|Pierson Smith (Jr.)||85|
|Zach Will (Sr.)||86|
|Taylor Drake (Sr.)||86|
|Jackson Becker (So.)||91|
|Josh Will (So.)||92|
|Meade Johnson (Jr.)||81|
|Blaine Powers (Fr.)||82|
|Colton Romine (Jr.)||85|
|Stewart Druin (Fr.)||86|
|Perry Curtis (Sr.)||96|
|James Shamdin (Jr.)||101|
|Luke Bradley (So.)||79|
|Dawson Watson (Sr.)||87|
|Chance Westerfield (So.)||88|
|Reese Wagoner (Jr.)||91|
|Mitchell Worrell (Sr.)||98|
|Nathan Minnis (Sr.)||98|