WOODSTOCK – Chris Boyle wasn’t expecting to play extra golf after shooting a 4-over-par 76 at the Illinois Junior Golf Association’s Crystal Woods Regional on Friday.
But, to Boyle’s surprise, a 76 was the top score of the day, which resulted in a sudden-death playoff with Buffalo Grove’s Jason Gohde in the Senior Boys division.
“I didn’t think a 76 would but me in position to play for first,” said Boyle, 18, who graduated and played on the Jacobs team that won the Fox Valley Conference and a regional title. “There were no low scores today. It was surprising.”
Boyle entered the par-72 course’s final two holes in regulation with a four-stroke lead, but bogeyed his last two attempts while Gohde recorded a pair of birdies to also finish at 76. The four-stroke swing set up the playoff, which lasted two holes after Boyle and Gohde each made par on hole No. 1.
Unfortunately for Boyle, a bad approach on the second playoff hole was too much to overcome. Boyle’s tee shot went far left and off course, while Gohde stayed on the fairway and reached the green in three shots.
Gohde made par again on the second hole, while Boyle couldn’t recover from his first shot, using four shots to reach the green and finishing with a double bogey.
“Somehow I kept my nerves together,” said Gohde, who recorded a tournament-best 36 on the back nine. “I just had a nice stretch there at the end to pull it out.”
Boyle said the delay between regulation and the playoff, which lasted about an hour, was a factor. Both golfers played in the first group of the day, which meant they had to wait to start the playoff until the last group finished.
“I’d say I just lost myself,” said Boyle, who will play golf in the fall at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “The wait didn’t help, but that’s on me. I didn’t play well enough to win. He made the pars and I didn’t.”
Boyle said Friday was a nice warmup for next week’s Illinois State Junior Amateur Championship at Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington, but that the two courses play very differently.
“The greens at Makray are probably going to be lightning fast,” Boyle said. “I’ll get in a good practice round there next week and be ready for the tournament.”
Also in the Senior Boys division, Algonquin’s Jack Ramsett and West Dundee’s Gabriel Askam shot 77 to finish in a tie for third place. Other local golfers included Kevin Karney (80), Billy Walker (83), A.J. Folino (84), Trent Craig (86) and Jeremy Gregory (90).
In the Senior Girls division, Larisa Luloff, a Cary-Grove junior who plays for the Crystal Lake Central Co-op, and Blake Betke, a junior on Richmond-Burton, each shot 79 to finish in a tie for first place. Lake in the Hills’ Bailey Bostler (Crystal Lake South) placed third with an 82.
Spring Grove’s Mackenzie Hahn (R-B) claimed first place in the Junior Girls division with an 85, while Crystal Lake’s Megan Selby finished fifth.