PRAIRIE GROVE — Tall, dark clouds brought heavy rains Monday morning and forced the McHenry County Junior Golf Association's tournament at Prairie Isle Golf Club back a few hours.
Instead of waiting around, Huntley's soon-to-be senior Kyle Murray used the extra time and walked across the street to Fore Seasons Golf Learning Center and hit range balls.
It led to him shooting a 77, good enough for first place in the boys senior division and his first win at an MCJGA event.
It was a huge jump from his previous rounds at tournaments this summer, recently turning in scores of 97 and 90 in his past two rounds. So what made the difference today?
"One of my friends told me to stop thinking so much," Murray said. "I was too nervous before and I didn't know what I was doing. But today I just decided to play.
"I think I was so worried about just not wanting to do bad," he continued," and I just cleared my head and just went back to playing golf and having fun."
Murray beat out second-place finisher Paul Schlimm (79) and Matt Cox (80) who finished third.
The boys junior division wasn't as easily decided as both Krish Kamdar and Billy Walker turned in rounds of even-par 73. The two left the clubhouse and walked to the par-5 first hole as about 20 fellow golfers and spectators followed to watch the playoff.
Both drove the ball to the right side of the fairway but Walker hit his about 40 yards further and that proved to be the difference as his second shot landed just off the green and he chipped and putted his way to a birdie and a first-place finish.
Kamdar ended the hole with an even par and placed second in the junior division in his first MCJGA tournament.
"Billy has a lot of experience and he's a good player, so I think I did good regardless," said Kamdar, an incoming freshman at Jacobs. "There are a lot of good players, so this is good experience for me."
Walker bogeyed on his final hole which allowed for the two-golfer playoff as Justin Lenzini (79) took third. Walker had to make a Drivers Ed class later in the afternoon so he wanted to make sure to win the playoff hole, and refocused himself after letting the win slip away on the last hole.
"I felt like I was in my comfort zone," Walker said of the playoff. "I just wanted to get that bogey back and I attacked the hole aggressively."
Emily Jean placed first in the girls senior division with a 43 and was followed by Brianna Digrazia (46) and Gillian Young (52).
Lauren Kalamaras (50) took first in the girls junior division and Sophia Archos (51) and Maddie Ogden (54) rounded out the top three finishers.