HUNTLEY – Although Tyler Ross and Brad Spoeth were competing against each other and many other former teammates, both found it hard not to root for one another.
Ross and Spoeth, recent Huntley High School graduates who played in the same foursome Wednesday, were two of seven current and former varsity members of the Red Raiders' golf team who participated in the boys senior division of the McHenry County Junior Golf Association's Pinecrest Open.
Ross got the better of Spoeth and the five other Red Raiders, shooting a 3-over 75, finishing in third place. Spoeth shot a 78.
"It was fun, especially playing with Tyler,” Spoeth said. “We were around the same score for most of the round, so it was a good battle.”
Also representing the Red Raiders at Pinecrest was recent graduate, Kyle Murray, seniors Owen Siddons, Andrew Mendonca and Jake Bowser, and Spoeth’s younger brother, Danny, who will be a sophomore in the fall.
Bowser, Mendonca and Crystal Lake Central’s Paul Schlimm carded round-best 74s and forced a three-way playoff. Schlimm prevailed on the playoff’s first hole for the victory, leaving Bowser and Mendonca tied for second.
During their varsity experience, Ross and Spoeth wanted to be good role models for Huntley’s younger golfers. They were both surprised by the success each team member had Wednesday.
“It’s kind of weird to see how much of the younger guys have reached the level we are at,” Ross said. “I feel like we’re somewhat of an influence on them.”
In the girls senior division, Prairie Ridge graduate Brooke Johnson won her first title of 2014, edging Lauren Kalamaras by two strokes with a 45 for nine holes.
“[This win] felt good,” Johnson said. “I didn’t play my best, but it’s only my second time playing this summer.”
In the girls junior division, Maria Mercurio defeated Megan Selby on the first playoff hole to win her first junior title.
Also winning at Pinecrest was Garrett Tighe, who shot a 77 to win the boys junior division championship.
Ross and Spoeth agreed that no matter what the outcome may be on the course, their friendship won’t change.
"It’s a friendly competition, but I always like to beat him,” Ross joked. “But at the end of the day, we’re still happy for each other.”