CLINTON — Green Ridge won the boys golf Class 1, Sectional 3 tournament on Monday at Clinton Country Club, putting two golfers in the 80s on its way to a team score of 383.
Peyton Needy shot an 87 and Hayden Doane shot an 88 for the Tigers.
“It feels great,” Doane said. “We shot really good as a team.”
Normally the top two teams in a golf district move on to sectional, though a team that qualifies each of its individual players is still in the running for a team championship at the sectional meet. So despite a third place finish in the district meet last week, Green Ridge was able to play for a sectional championship, qualifying all five of its golfers as individuals.
Tipton took advantage of the same rule in 2012, finishing second at the sectional meet after placing third in the district. Green Ridge coach Mike Ingram said that Tipton’s 2012 squad was brought up after his team took third last week.
“That was a nice encouraging thought last week, but I can’t tell you I thought that was going to happen,” he said. “All three of those schools from our district, we’ve played each other enough, we haven’t been on the upper end of them often but it has happened. Our district is a good district, a lot of good golfers and it has been for years.”
It is the Tigers’ first sectional championship in four years under Ingram. The Tigers sent Matt Lenz to the state meet in 2008 as an individual where he tied for 16th.
Lincoln also qualified for the state meet with a team score of 389, edging Sacred Heart for second place by one stroke. The Gremlins’ two low scorers on the day, Michael Hohne and Will Prenger, were a total of six strokes lower than Lincoln’s Boone Kroenke and Tyler Kroenke. But Trevor Kroenke’s 99 was four strokes lower than Jack Lucchesi’s 103 and Cody Gregory shot a 105 to round out Lincoln’s scoring, two strokes lower than Sacred Heart’s Chris Mergen.
Green Ridge and Lincoln have vied for the upper hand all season. Lincoln won the Kaysinger Conference meet with the Tigers taking third a week later at the Sacred Heart Invitational, six strokes ahead of the Cardinals. At the Stover Invitational, Lincoln was back on top with Green Ridge second.
“Lincoln did pretty good, too, we just ended up coming out on top,” Needy said.
Needy opened his day on the 547 yard, par-5 14th hole.
“I was a little nervous starting out, but once I got everything going it ended up being OK,” he said. “I started out pretty bad, but I ended up saving myself on the front.”
On the front nine things began to come together as he shot a 40.
“I just hit everything really consistently,” he said. “My drives were in the fairway., I capitalized on a couple big putts. That really helped.”
Doane stayed consistent, shooting a 44 on the front and a 44 on the back.
“I was just staying focused,” he said, “not getting ahead of myself.”
Doane had plenty of chances for birdies and made a couple of long putts during his round.
Green Ridge also got a 99 from Josh Tylar, a 109 from Spencer Needy and a 110 from John Olejniczak who shot a 47 on the front nine.
Windsor’s Tol Lipe tied for third with an 86, six strokes behind medalist Tommy Montileone, of Greenwood.
“It’s the best I’ve shot all year,” Lipe said. “I think I did really well on the front. The back nine could have been better. I ended up getting a triple bogey on the last hole.”
Lipe shot a 38 on the front nine, opening with a birdie on one. On the sixth hole, he put his tee shot on the par-4 into the rough to the right but recovered, sticking a chip from the fringe to within inches of the hole. Capping off the front nine, Lipe hit a shot from the fringe on the par-5 ninth to birdie that hole.
“When I hit that and looked up, about halfway up I told the Drexel kid ‘look at that,’ ” Lipe said. “It went up, tapped the pin and fell right in. I couldn’t believe it.”
Also in Lipe’s foursome were two other Kaysinger golfers, Cole Camp’s Caleb Self and Stover’s Brock Nolting. Both shot 42 on the front nine and 50 on the back for a state-qualifying score of 92.
“Me and Caleb, it would be opposite holes,” Nolting said. “He would have a good one and I would have a bad one, then I would have a good one and he would have a bad one.”
Boone Kroenke led the Cardinals with an 88, shooting a 50 on the front nine before recovering to shoot a 38 on the back. He shot a 10 on the 336-yard par-4 second hole
“Just a stupid mistake,” he said. “Not taking a drop after I hit one into the hazard, trying to punch it out and then duffing another one after that. Stuff compounded really fast.”
He ran into more trouble with a pair of shots that hooked out of bounds on the ninth hole.
“I rebounded very well on the back nine,” he said. “When I made the turn, I knew I could play a lot better on the back. I like it a lot better than the front. It sets up better for me and I played well there before. I shot 37 in a match earlier this year here, so I knew I could play very well.”
Hohne shot a 45 in windy conditions on the front nine, but as the conditions calmed down later in the day, he shot a 42 on the back nine. After some trouble on the par-4 eighth and par-5 ninth, he stuck his approach on the par-4 10th.
“The wind died down on the back, so I knew I had to keep it straight,” Hohne said. “I knew that I could do better on the back, so I started teeing off with my iron and just kept it straight down the fairway. From there, I was playing par-bogey golf.”
With the exception of his driver, Hohne was satisfied with his game at the sectional.
“My putting was a little off, but I mainly two-putted every hole,” he said.
Cole Camp’s Alex Pritzel shot a 96, carding a 43 on the front and a 53 on the back. He missed state qualification by three strokes.
Jack Daugherty of Windsor shot a 113. Mason Howard of Windsor shot a 119.
Golfers from Green Ridge and Lincoln, as well as Hohne, Prenger, Lipe, Nolting and Self will play the Class 1 state meet Monday and Tuesday at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield.