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Late on the first day of the IHSA Class 2A state tournament, the Ottawa boys golf team was near the top of the standings.
“I thought we started off really well,” Ottawa coach Dave Wultzen said. “At one point after 16 holes we were sitting in third just a few strokes out of first. On our finishing holes, we didn’t play well and dropped down to eighth. It kind of left a sour taste in the guys’ mouths but also gave them motivation to come back and play stronger (today).”
The Pirates carded a team score of 332 — 48-over-par — Friday at Weibring Golf Club on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal.
Ottawa sits 11 strokes behind first-place Belleville Althoff and nine strokes behind third-place Washington. The top three teams earn trophies.
“We have a shot to get back in (the trophy hunt),” Wultzen said. “Now we’ve played the course twice. We know the course better. There are some holes that are difficult because of the length and pin placement, and also because of the course make-up itself. We have to keep the ball in the middle of the fairway. We can’t get stuck in the trees. (We need) good course management.”
Senior Lane Barbier, who won the Class 2A Belvidere North Sectional on Monday, led the Pirates with a 9-over-par 80 on Friday. He is tied for 24th place.
Dane Lehr (82), Baley Lehr (83) and Blake Johnson (87) rounded out the scorecard for Ottawa. Carter Piercy (93) and Alex Shanley (100) also competed for the Pirates.
“They were all disappointed in their play,” Wultzen said. “(We scored a) 332. We’re much better than that. I think it was a combination of the nerves and the competition you’re playing against. If we can play (today), I think they’re going to do much better.”
Princeton Hunter Schultz is tied for 80th in the Class 2A competition with an 89. The junior carded a 42 on the front nine and a 47 on the back nine.
Hall junior Pete Mautino is tied for 57th with an 84 in the Class 1A competition at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
Starting on Hole No. 10, Mautino shot a 45 on the back nine but rebounded with a 39 on the front. Mautino struggled on the tough greens as he had six three-putts.
Due to a chance of severed weather today, the state tournament will be a shotgun start at 9 a.m.
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