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Hall senior Pete Mautino had a tough day Tuesday at the Three Rivers Conference Meet at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley.
Mautino shot well - carding a 78 - but he was disqualified for hitting a wrong ball.
This gave the Red Devils No. 1 golfer plenty of motivation entering Saturday’s La Salle-Peru Invitational.
Mautino used that to shoot a 5-over-par 77 at Senica’s Oak Ridge Golf Club to place third in the small/medium school division.
“Being disqualified last week definitely made me want to come out and play well this weekend,” said Mautino, who tied for second but lost a scorecard playoff. “I’m glad I shot up there just to show everyone I can be up there.”
Mautino’s final regular season round featured five birdies - including three on chip-ins - and seven pars.
“I lipped out quite a few short putts, but my driving and approach shots were there,” Mautino said. “I had three chip-ins today, so that helps. If I would have made my shorter putts, I definitely could have shot a lot better.
“I usually hit my drive a lot longer than I did today, but they played in the fairway, so it was easier for me to control.”
Mautino said he is confident entering Tuesday’s Class 1A Putnam County Regional at Edgewood Park Golf Club in McNabb.
“Making it to state meant a lot to me last year, so I’d like to go again this year,” Mautino said. “I’m really excited to try to get there. I’m going to try to keep my head in the game and see what happens.”
Saturday’s tournament was the final tune-up for the postseason for several area teams.
Mautino led the Red Devils to a 360 team score, which is higher than their average, according to coach Tom Bauer.
“We had some kids start out really poorly today who actually came back and saved their rounds, so I was impressed with that,” Bauer said.
Also playing in the small/medium school division, Princeton shot a 356, led by 84s from Zach Hicks and Ian Nichols.
The Tigers will return to Oak Ridge on Tuesday for the Class 2A La Salle-Peru Regional.
“We kind of went with the approach today that we were going to play this as a competitive practice round,” PHS coach Duane Price said. “I’m OK with the way today went. I know some of us wanted to play a little better. … I just hope we use it as a springboard to get better now we know the course for Tuesday.”
Ottawa, playing in the large school division, shot an area-best 333 led by Dane Lehr’s 80.
“We didn’t play as well today as we did the other day (in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Meet), but I just told the guys to go out and relax, have fun and study the course,” said Ottawa coach Dave Wultzen, whose team also plays in the L-P Regional. “Our plan for today was to get ourselves prepared for the regional. We weren’t coming in here looking for a championship. Being in the large school division, there were some very great scores up there.”
The host Cavaliers carded a 365 paced by Kyle Hanck’s 87.
“As we were going through today, they were half and half - they were a little bit up and a little bit proud of what they were doing, then they had a few struggles as they were going through,” L-P coach Randy Gunia said. “It was a little higher (team score) than we had at conference. … It’s good with regional coming up to get another round out here.”
Benet won the large school division with a 293. Benet sophomore Alex Bassetto shot a 66 to win the large school individual title. DeKalb freshman Austin Freeman had seven consecutive birdies en route to a second-place 69.
In the small/medium school division, Monmouth-Roseville won with a 321 led by a first-place finish from Sam Gillen with a 75.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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