WOODSTOCK – Huntley senior Ryan Craig played Crystal Woods Thursday like he owned it.
Craig fired a 2-under-par 70 for his best round ever on the course, and the Red Raiders repeated as team champions at the Fox Valley Conference Tournament with 315 strokes. Crystal Lake Central was second, and Jacobs was third, both with 318.
Craig’s family lives adjacent to the No. 5 fairway, his father John and uncle Jay own the course, and John is the club professional. The familiarity helped Craig take advantage and win the tournament by five strokes over Jacobs’ Sean Kozak.
“I haven’t played 18 out here that much, but I come and play five or six holes a lot,” Craig said. “I putted really well. I only had one three-putt [green] and quite a few one-putts, and my irons were solid, too.”
Craig’s low 18-hole round this season came early at the Glenbard North Invitational, where he shot 68. Gage Jereb (79), Trent Craig (83) and Brad Spoeth (83) rounded out the scoring for the Raiders.
“I’ve had an average around 36 for nine holes, but for 18 it’s nice to break par again,” Ryan Craig said.
Jacobs won the FVC Valley Division title for dual matches at 6-0, while Crystal Lake Central was 5-0 to win the FVC Fox. Huntley tied for second, but then took the tournament championship.
“It’s a good things we came back from losing the division to win the tournament,” Jereb said. “I thought we would come out and shoot really low, but we still got the win.”
Huntley coach Jim Rolando thought tougher pin placement and stiff breezes made Crystal Woods more difficult. Eight golfers were able to break 80 for the tournament.
“Ryan played awesome. I was surprised he won by five,” Rolando said. “He played really well. This is fun time for him and he did some things like this over the summer. It’s fun [as a team]. This is very humbling because you never know what to expect. This sound exactly like the regular season, where every match was one or two or three strokes.”
Kozak, who tied for third with teammate Cam Bodie last year, shot 75 to move up one spot.
“It was pretty disappointing because I four-putted on 18 and took a [double-bogey] 7,” Kozak said. “I was doing pretty well. I had a bogey-bogey start, but my driver was good and I did well after that start. My putting was average. If I had putted better I would have been lower.”