HUNTLEY – After nine holes of play in the MCJGA Pinecrest Open, Billy Walker knew he had to improve if he wanted to win the Boys Junior Division.
“On the front nine, I didn’t do so well,” said Walker, who shot 43 Wednesday on those holes. “I knew I had to try to get it back and get into the 80s.”
The Jacobs player played “pretty well” on the back nine with a 300-yard drive on No. 18 that set up an eagle that gave him a one-shot victory. Walker’s improving play helped him surpass his preset goal and win at Pinecrest, his second straight MCJGA tournament victory. He also won the Prairie Isle Open on Monday.
“That was my goal – 80,” said Walker, who finished Wednesday shooting 77, “but I guess it just turned out better.”
Justin Lenzini (78) and Ben Melms (79) rounded out the top three in Walker’s division. Sophia Archos (47) won the Girls Junior Division by six shots, and Cary-Grove’s Emily Jean won her third consecutive MCJGA tournament in the Girls Senior Division with a 39, one shot better than that of teammate Larisa Luloff.
The Boys Senior Division was a closer race.
Huntley’s Brad Spoeth (76) slid past Glenn Miller and Kyle Murray, who both shot 78s and respectively placed second and third. Spoeth credits part of his performance to his familiarity with Pinecrest, which is Huntley’s home course during the season.
“I was confident going in,” said Spoeth, who won his past two MCJGA tournaments at Pinecrest. “(It) definitely helped.”
Spoeth’s victory was a result of his consistency on the back nine, and he said that’ll build the confidence he needs to win future tournaments. Spoeth’s last golden trophy came in the first tournament of the year in the GCI Open on June 12.
“Hopefully, this gets the confidence going,” the senior said.
When Spoeth approached tournament director Mike Haase to receive his trophy, Haase mentioned Spoeth’s wardrobe choice. When Spoeth won his first tournament of the year, he was wearing red. The red bottoms returned at Pinecrest.
“I figured I’d give it a shot again,” he said, “and it worked.”
MCJGA competitors return to the golf course in July with the Marengo Ridge Open (July 2) and The Billy Vahldieck McHenry County Junior Amateur in Bull Valley (July 10 and 11).
As for Spoeth’s lucky red attire?
“We’ll see,” he laughed.