LAKE IN THE HILLS – As heavy rained poured down Thursday afternoon, there was some concern play would be halted. For Prairie Ridge sophomore Ethan Farnam, the rain was fuel.
Farnam, 15, shot a 5-under-par 67 to give the Wolves another team victory, this time in the Crystal Lake Invitational at Boulder Ridge Country Club. The Wolves took first place Wednesday in the Cary-Grove Invitational.
Farnam’s 67 was one shot short of a course record from the white tees and was a school record for Prairie Ridge.
“I don’t know what happened to me because when it started raining I just turned it on,” Farnam said. “I like playing in the rain, too. Not hard rain like that, but it makes you take your time and make sure your shot is right. It helps.”
Farnam and the other top three Prairie Ridge scores combined for a total of 306, which topped six other schools. Huntley was runner-up with a 313 and Cary-Grove and Crystal Lake Central tied for third (318).
“It was a phenomenal round, especially considering the conditions,” Prairie Ridge JV coach John Powell said. “A lot of these guys have never played on this course. It’s a private course, so these guys haven’t had a lot of access. The greens are rolling pretty quick. It was a great score.”
Brothers Cameron and Kyle Karney also helped Prairie Ridge’s total with a solid outings of 79.
“It’s fun having brothers on the team because they really push each other to get better in the summer,” Powell said. “The family is really committed to golf and the boys have really demonstrated they’re committed to get better.”
Huntley senior Jake Bowser placed second individually with a 74. Like Farnam, Bowser said the rain helped his game.
“I feel like I play better in the rain because I hit down more and hit the divots,” Bowser said. “It was a good round. In the rain, I can’t complain about a 74.”
But it was Farnam who captured all the attention, rightfully so.
The 15-year-old’s round was full of impressive moments. Farnam birdied the 490-yard par-5 fifth hole and consistently hit the fairway.
Farnam even came close to accomplishing something he has yet to achieve – a hole in one.
“I thought that one (on 17) was going to come back in, but it stayed on the hill,” he said. “I hit a perfect shot, but I got a par. I was kind of mad.”
His 5-under round was the mark of Farnam’s growth during the summer. Farnam placed ninth at the Illinois State Junior Championship and has traveled across the country to compete in tournaments.
Even Wednesday, Farnam shot 1-over, but was able to play a much more complete game Thursday.
“It was just a shorter course, and yesterday the greens weren’t as nice as here, so you can’t really make it,” Farnam said. “I’m just more accurate I think. There are a few tournaments where I’m not, but overall I think I’ve gotten a lot more accurate. I’ve been hitting it really crisp.”