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BYRON — Joey Dudek refused to focus on the negative.
While unhappy and disappointed that he — like every other area competitor — was unable to advance out of Monday’s Class 1A Byron Sectional and to this weekend’s state meet, the junior on the St. Bede boys golf team instead saw the sliver lining.
“Since I didn’t make it to state this year, I definitely, definitely have my eye on state next year,” Dudek said. “This is motivation. I’m going to put a lot of work in over the summer and see where it gets me.”
Unfortunately for the area’s five individual competitors and Hall, Byron’s Prairie View Golf Club got the best of them on Monday as no area golfer advanced out of the sectional.
St. Bede sophomore Jarret Olson led the way as he shot an area-low round of 87, which was four shots off the last qualifying spot for an individual not on an advancing team.
Olson shot a 43 on the front nine and then carded a 44 on the back nine.
“I started off even (par) through four (holes), but then I got shaky toward the end and hit a couple of balls out of bounds,” Olson said of his front nine. “The back nine was also a little shaky. This is just a tournament where you can’t take anything for granted. Every stroke matters and this is just motivation for next year.”
Dudek also came up short as he shot a 46 on the front nine and a 45 on the back nine to finish with a 91.
“I feel like I put a lot of pressure of myself, and when I get out here, I don’t just play golf,” said Dudek, who was competing in his second straight sectional. “I’m a lot harder on myself and I don’t just let the game come to me, so that’s definitely what I’m going to be focusing on next year.”
Hall, which was the only area squad that advanced its entire team out of the regional, finished 12th and was unable to advance any individuals.
Hall’s No. 1 golfer Pete Mautino and No. 2 golfer Nick Scheri both turned in rounds of 96, while No. 3 golfer Ryan Ott carded a team-low round of a 90.
“As a team, we weren’t going to qualify for state because there are just so many good teams here, but we didn’t quite play as good as could have played,” Hall coach Tom Bauer said. “I don’t know if we adjusted to the conditions and the fast greens very well.
“I know Pete and Nick are disappointed to end this way because they have had great high school careers … but Ryan Ott had a really nice round today of 90. He didn’t do anything spectacular, but he didn’t make any bad mistakes.”
Putnam County freshman Mitch Aimone also came up short as he shot a 94.
“The biggest thing is that this is just a good learning experience for him,” PC coach Josh Nauman said. “Hopefully, it will get some of those jitters out of the way and next year when he comes he can be a little more relaxed and know what to expect and hopefully next year he can score well enough to get out.”
Bureau Valley seniors Ryan Young and Logan Twidell also struggled. Young shot a 45 on both the front and back nines to finish with a 90, while Twidell carded a 48 and a 46 to finish with a 94.
“Ryan and Logan both struggled on the front nine,” BV coach Danny Gustafson said. “I think the struggles on the front nine were because they were both nervous getting to the sectional. There are a lot of good schools and a lot of good golfers here so it was going to take a low score to get out of here.”
Notes: North Shore Country Day shot a 311 team score to win the sectional title and finish ahead of second-place Byron (315) and third-place Stockton (320). All three teams advanced to the Class 1A state tournament, which starts Friday in Bloomington. … North Shore Country Day’s Andrew Blechman shot a medalist round of a 2-over-par 74.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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