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Hall’s Pete Mautino tees off during Saturday’s Princeton Invitational at the Chapel Hill Golf Course in Princeton. Mautino shot a team-low round of 85 for the Red Devils. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
Given that Olson and teammate Joey Dudek are close friends on the golf course, it only seemed right that the two St. Bede golfers were close in score at Saturday’s Princeton Invitational at the Chapel Hill Golf Course.
The top two Bruin golfers each posted area-low rounds of a 7-over-par 79 as the sophomore Olson finished fifth after a scorecard playoff and the junior Dudek seventh at the nine-team event.
“Just like our golf scores, we’re pretty close,” Olson joked about his relationship with Dudek. “Sometimes at practice, we have a little bit of competition and play best ball and other games. We just want to try to make each other better.”
On Saturday, they did just that.
The pair finished only three shots off the winning score of 76, and their total matched Princeton senior Zach Hicks, who carded the tournament’s third 79.
“Jarret and I have some pretty good times at practice, and we had a pretty fun time at (Mendota’s Modified) Ryder Cup last year,” Dudek said. “It’s always fun to play with each other.”
The pairing also helped the Bruins to an area-best team finish as St. Bede shot a team score of 330 to finish second behind champion Rock Falls, which turned in a 321.
“It’s good to see that everyone is improving,” Dudek said. “To me, the team award is much more important than any individual awards. We are showing good signs that we can go far as a team (in the postseason).”
Dudek had a tale of two rounds as he shot even-par on the back nine but then carded a 7-over on the front nine.
“On the front, I didn’t play so well, but I was able to recover,” Dudek said. “I’m really happy with how I played. I made some key putts when I needed to and had some key up and downs.”
Olson started off rough as he was 2-over on the first three holes before he settled in and righted his round.
“It seems like every round I tend to go on a good par streak when I get going and get kind of comfortable,” Olson said. “This is the first time I’ve ever actually broken 80 before so it feels pretty good. I’m really happy overall.”
Hicks shot a 42 on the back nine and a 37 on the front nine as he placed sixth after the scorecard playoff with Olson and Dudek.
“I was striking the ball really well today, but my putting was terrible,” Hicks said. “I had 34 putts and something like four three-putts. I look at the scoreboard and it’s not a bad day, but it’s frustrating because I had six or seven 11- to 15-foot birdie putts that should’ve gone in but just weren’t falling.”
Bureau Valley senior Ryan Young shot an 82 to finish ninth, and La Salle-Peru junior Kyle Hanck carded an 83 to place 10th.
As a team, Mendota finished fourth with a 350 and ahead of fifth-place Princeton (351), seventh-place L-P (362), eighth-place Hall (366) and ninth-place BV (408). Junior Jaron Robinson shot a team-low 83 to pace MHS, while Rock Falls’s Andrew Tichler shot a 76 and beat IVC’s Jaron Hutson on the second playoff hole to win the individual title.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.