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Stephanie Wilson, of Granville, putts on Hole No. 18 during the Big I Jr. Golf Classic on Friday at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley. Wilson won the female division with an 88 in the 14-hole, weather-shortened event. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
John Potthoff, of Spring Valley, sinks a putt Friday on Hole No. 6 during the Big I Jr. Golf Classic at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley. He won the 12-and-under division. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
LaMoille junior-to-be Griffin Kozeal is spending plenty of time on the golf course this summer.
He’s been taking lessons, and Friday, he played in the Big I Junior Golf Classic at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley.
“I’ve been taking a bunch of lessons and getting ready for the high school season,” Kozeal said.
He’ll have another tournament to play after his performance Friday.
Kozeal carded a 57 in the 14-hole, weather-shortened tournament to tie for second place and earn a berth in the Big I Junior Golf State Tournament July 10-11 at Lick Creek Golf Course in Pekin.
“I think it’s cool,” Kozeal said. “I haven’t done this tournament before, so it’s new to me. We’ll see what it’s like.”
Kozeal tied with Henry’s Bobby McBride, but won a scorecard playoff to take home the second-place trophy.
Pete Kuhl, of Morton, won the tournament with a 56.
“I played pretty well,” Kozeal said. “I had some awesome putts. I was rocking the putts, and my shorter irons were really good.”
McBride, who recently graduate from Henry and will play golf at Illinois Central College next year, qualified for the state tournament for the second year in a row.
“I did it last year so I definitely wanted to go back because this is my last year being eligible because of my age,” he said. “Lick Creek is the home course of the college I’m going to next year, so it’d be nice to make a good showing there so my coach knows I can play well there.”
McBride hopes his experience last year helps him have a good performance at the state tournament.
“It was intimidating (last year). I had never played competition like that, but I played well. I shot 79-77 for a 156 two-day total,” McBride said. “I’m looking to improve. I’m hoping to go 150 or under.
“I think (the experience) will help. I’ve played a couple tournaments at that course already this year, so I know the course pretty well. I know where I need to hit my tee shots and good places to come in from.”
Putnam County senior-to-be Stephanie Wilson may also get a shot to play in the state tournament after winning the female division Friday with an 88.
“My first few holes were good, then I started going out of bounds and in the trees, but other than that, (I did) pretty good,” said Wilson, who will find out in the next few days if she earned a state berth.
Spring Valley’s John Potthoff won the 12-and-under division with an 89.
“I did good on some putts,” said Potthoff, who recorded two pars.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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