Stewart Druin might be disappointed with his score on No. 17, but the Mattoon senior still fired a 3-over 75 to finish second and help lift the Green Wave to the IHSA regional boys golf title at Charleston Country Club on Wednesday.
Druin, who was 1-over entering the final two holes, hit a ball out of bounds and carded a triple-bogey 6 for the 168-yard par-3 hole.
But he recovered by driving the green over a pond and onto the narrow green at the 302-yard, par 4 No. 18 to earn a birdie and complete a round of 75.
“He has been really putting a lot on himself,” MHS coach Brett Poorman said. “That is good. He has shot a 68, 70, 71 this year, including last Friday. I think he was looking for that number and he had a bad one on No. 17. Confidence and the way he strikes the ball, he is always going to be around 73-74. That is going to be his high score. His thing is he is always going to get off the tee well. He is always going to hit it close to the fairway and, so long as he can get up and down — which he usually can — he will do well. His putter was hot today.”
Druin tied Charleston freshman Hudson Meister for second, two shots behind Olney’s Alex Nealis.
“I wouldn’t say anything was working, I was just playing normal golf,” Druin said. “I had a bad one on 17 and that cost me a lot. Started on front nine and was even. I started off with two birdies. I birdied 11 and then got right back up and was still fighting for it, and then 17 happened. It is what it is. I came back on No. 18 and hit the green after my tee shot and had an eagle putt and finished with a birdie. It is still not where I wanted to be.”
Druin’s teammates also came through.
Junior Evan Diedrich shot a 77 for fourth overall, sophomore Madden Johnson had an 81 to tie for seventh and senior Blaine Powers completed the scoring with an 84 to give MHS a 15-stroke victory over runner-up Charleston.
“I kind of expected it (winning the regional) as long as everyone played an average round we should have it (regional title). We won by 15 shots, which goes to show you how good we can be even though we didn’t play well. Hopefully, we catch a round where everyone plays well and we take it to state.”
The Trojans, meanwhile, finished runner-up led by four golfers who are all freshmen and sophomore.
“It was a tough day as we started with a little frost and a little chill and breeze,” said CHS coach Scott Dow. “I am super proud of the team. We have a young team and a number of sophomores, one junior and one freshman. I thought our top three (Hudson Meister, Alex Kuykendall and Andrew Kuykendall) played very well and we got second place. It was an outstanding effort in pretty tough conditions. Our No. 1 is freshman Meiser who tied for second place with a 75 The twins shot an 82, which is a very solid round for us today.”
After Meister’s 75, sophomore twins Alex and Andrew Kuykendall fired duplicate 82s to finish tied for ninth while sophomore Jackson Logue was among three Trojans at 93. Rhylan Brady and Zach Craig also carded 93s.
Mattoon, Charleston and Olney advance to the Waterloo IHSA sectional Monday.
“We are going down to Waterloo Sunday for a practice round,” said Poorman. “Most high school courses are not super long or anything. Obviously, there is a team in Benton that is going to shoot a 280 or 290. We are wanting to break 300. We shot a 302 at Danville and had chances to get down in the 290s it is just we were missing one score each time. We are still trying to get there.”
|12||SAM DRISCOLL||Mt. Zion||84|
|12||WESTON GROHNE||Mt. Zion||84|
|20||CARSON OLIVER||Mt. Zion||88|
|Stewart Druin (SR)||75|
|Evan Diedrich (JR)||77|
|Madden Johnson (SO)||81|
|Blaine Powers (SR)||84|
|Will Pullen (SO)||86|
|Garrett Miller (JR)||91|
|Hudson Meister (FR)||75|
|Alex Kuykendall (SO)||82|
|Andrew Kuykendall (SO)||82|
|Jackson Logue (SO)||93|
|Rhyland Brady (JR)||93|
|Zach Craig (JR)||93|