ITASCA – The 18th hole in the 34th Chick Evans Junior Amateur Championship had given Jack Ramsett fits throughout the first three days of competition in the Illinois Junior Golf Association event at Itasca Country Club.
Thursday was no different.
Ramsett, a recent Jacobs graduate who played 19 holes in the opening round Wednesday to reach the second day of match play, played toe-to-toe with River Woods’ Jacob Krugman throughout most of their quarterfinal match.
The pair played the final five holes squared, but a bad approach from Ramsett on the 18th hole cost him a chance to advance to the tournament’s final four. Krugman, the No. 31 seed, birdied the course’s final hole and defeated the 23rd-seeded Ramsett, 1 up, to end the Algonquin golfer’s tournament.
Cary's Daniel DePrey, a recent Cary-Grove grad, also lost his quarterfinal match.
"I played [No. 18] poor all tournament long," Ramsett said of the 417-yard par-4. "I think I made par once in five tries. I just couldn’t keep it straight.”
Teeing off second, Ramsett’s shot went wide right and he found himself within 2 feet of a tree and nowhere to go but around. Krugman, meanwhile, found the fairway on his first shot and reached the green in two.
Ramsett tried to maneuver around the tree, but it cost him an extra stroke in the process.
“I tried to bend it around the tree, but it didn’t work out,” said Ramsett, who will play golf in the fall at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “I knew I had to get up and down, and I made a good shot to get it on the green in three. But he made birdie, so it is what it is. [Krugman] played a great match. It was a lot of fun.”
Ramsett took his first lead after the turn and was up by two after 11 holes, but Krugman quickly erased the deficit by winning 12 and 13. They halved the next four holes before the decisive 18th.
“I don’t’ think I’ve ever been more nervous on a golf hole,” said Krugman, a junior at Deerfield. “I just tried to hit a good 5-iron onto the middle of the green. If it went past the hole, fine, because I knew I was going to make the putt.”
DePrey was denied a spot in the semifinals by Wataga’s Hunter Nesselroad, who won their match, 4 and 3.
DePrey was down one after bogeying the second hole, and he never got even from there. Nesselroad won the 11th, 12th and 13th to make a comeback difficult for DePrey, who won his only hole on the 14th.
“I’m pretty happy with the result,” said DePrey, who will play golf in the fall at University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “I’m actually not that mad that I lost. I was only 2 over through 15 and he was 3 or 4 under. He just played better than me today.”
Other local golfers reaching match-play stage included Joseph Addante of Algonquin (round of 16), Christopher Boyle of Hampshire (round of 16) and Jordan Hahn of Spring Grove (round of 32).