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Amboy-LaMoille junior Griffin Kozeal watches his tee shot on Hole No. 3 during the Three Rivers Conference Meet on Tuesday at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley. He shot an 81 to place fourth, which is the highest finish by an area golfer. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
Hall’s Pete Mautino watches an approach shot Tuesday during the Three Rivers Conference Meet at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley. Mautino shot the third-best score of the day but was disqualified for hitting the wrong ball on Hole No. 2. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
The Princeton boys golf team had strength in numbers Tuesday.
At the Three Rivers Conference Golf Meet at Spring Creek Golf Course, the Tigers didn’t have one player card a super low round.
Instead, Princeton just had consistency.
On a windy and challenging day in which only two of the 89 golfers scored in the 70s, PHS had all four of its scoring golfers shoot between an 83 and an 88 as PHS turned in a 340 team score to finish an area-best second in the 15-team meet.
“That’s really exciting, and I am proud of our team,” said Princeton’s Zach Hicks, who is the team’s lone senior. “We’ve gone through a lot this year, but we’ve seen a lot of improvement. … We were expecting good things today and, score-wise, second is pretty good in a 15-team conference.”
The Tigers, who finished runner-up to Kewanee’s 332, were led by an 83 from No. 3 golfer Colby Robbins — who finished seventh — while No. 2 golfer Ian Nichols turned in an 84, which was good for ninth.
Hicks — Princeton’s No. 1 golfer — shot an 85, and No. 4 golfer Colin Pierson had an 88.
“The collection of a group of kids like we had today was fantastic,” PHS coach Duane Price said. “Someone like our No. 4 guy (Colby Pierson) stepping up and shooting an 88 to really bunch us up, that’s what we need to do to be one of the top three teams to come out of the regional.”
While the Tigers celebrated, Hall senior Pete Mautino could only think of what could’ve been.
Mautino turned in the area’s top score — which was good for third overall — but was disqualified after his round after it was determined that he hit a wrong ball on Hole No. 2 and did not address his mistake before he teed off on Hole No. 3.
Mautino finished the round with a 6-over-par 78, and had he corrected his error before his tee shot on Hole No. 3, he would’ve been assessed a two-stroke penalty and likely would’ve finished somewhere around an 80, which still would’ve been good for third.
“It’s tough, but it’s better for it to have happened today instead of at regionals,” Hall coach Tom Bauer said. “He probably would’ve had the third-best score out of 89 golfers today, but we’ll move on from this.”
Matt Hoscheid led the Red Devils with an 87, while Nick Scheri carded an 88. Amboy-LaMoille’s Griffin Kozeal ended up with the area’s best score as the LaMoille junior shot an 81 to finish fourth.
St. Bede, backed by its 342 team score, was led by an 83 and an eighth-place finish from Anthony Truckenbrod, while Jarret Olson carded an 85 and Joey Dudek and Jack Kunkel added matching 87s.
Bureau Valley was led by rounds of 91 from both Ryan Young and Logan Twidell. As a team, the Bruins shot the 342 to finish fourth. A-L (351) placed sixth, Hall (366) eighth and Bureau Valley (394) 13th.
Notes: Riverdale’s Jake Tysma defeated Kewanee’s Tyler Nelson in a playoff to claim medalist honors. … Many local boys teams finish the regular season Saturday at the La Salle-Peru Invitational before regionals Tuesday. … Sterling Newman sophomore Shawn Rosengren hit a hole-in-one during Tuesday’s TRC Meet. Rosengren aced the par-3 132-yard Hole No. 7. The shot was witnessed by Bureau Valley’s Jay Norden, A-L’s Sam Klein and Erie’s Brody Rickels.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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