LAKEWOOD – Jarrett Kinney was not quite sure how to react to the magnitude of his own excellence.
The Cary-Grove senior was in a unique position – 7 under par after 11 holes at RedTail in the IHSA Class 3A Crystal Lake South Regional on Tuesday.
“I can’t even imagine what that would be like,” C-G coach Kelly Muzzy said.
Kinney’s tee shot on No. 3 landed out of bounds, which started a slide he was unable to stop. Still, he managed an even-par round of 72 and helped the Trojans win the team title at 297 and advance to Monday’s Barrington Sectional at Makray Memorial. Huntley (301) and Barrington (307) were the other two qualifying teams.
C-G sophomore Peter Kalamaras tied his season-low round of 71 to lead C-G to what Muzzy believes is the first regional title in school history. Daniel DePrey added a 76 and Nick Mathers shot 78 for the Trojans.
“I was playing so well, I had some real magic working,” said Kinney, who started on the back nine. “I lost it mentally. I had one bad shot and it snowballed from there. It’s tough not to think [about a very low round] after an amazing start. It’s a good experience. I’ll learn from this.”
Kinney triple bogeyed No. 3, but parred three consecutive holes after that. He then struggled coming in, but along with Kalamaras’ standout round helped the Trojans move on.
“I was hitting fairways and giving myself good opportunities,” said Kalamaras, who usually is the Trojans’ No. 4 or 5 player. “My main goal was to contribute to the team. It feels unreal right now.”
Kalamaras’ round had four birdies and three bogeys.
“If you’re going to have a day to shoot your best round, the regional’s a great time to do it,” Muzzy said. “Pete’s a real steady putter for being so young.”
The Craig brothers, sophomore Trent and senior Ryan, led Huntley, which won the Fox Valley Conference Tournament last week. Trent shot a 72, while Ryan shot a 73. The Red Raiders figured their regional was loaded with talented teams and advancing would be a great accomplishment.
“I was more worried about getting out of this than the sectional,” Trent Craig said. “I kept it together for the most part and avoided the big mistakes. We really wanted this bad.”
Other local qualifiers individually were Jacobs’ Gabe Askam (75), Crystal Lake Central’s Max Rand and Paul Schlimm (76), Crystal Lake South’s Austin Wiggerman (77), Jacobs’ Chris Boyle (78), Central’s James Perrone (78) and Jacobs’ Sean Kozak (79).
Kozak was FVC runner-up and a Class 3A state qualifier last year and experienced some anxious moments after his round before learning he had the last of 10 individual-qualifying spots.
“I didn’t play really well today,” Kozak said. “I double bogeyed 17 and thought it was over right there. My putting wasn’t the best, I burned a lot of edges. My driving wasn’t very good either.”
But Kozak still was able to extend his high school career for at least one more round.