WOODSTOCK – Eddie Winkelmann knew he was having a special day after making the turn at Crystal Woods.
Through nine holes, the incoming freshman at Prairie Ridge held a commanding lead in the boys junior division of Thursday's J. Patrick Lawler Open. Winkelmann's lead only grew from there, as the 14-year-old from Crystal Lake made birdies on holes No. 12 and 13.
Winkelmann shot 1-over par for the final five holes, and ended with a tournament best 4-over 76 to capture the boys junior division with a two-round score of 161. Cary-Grove sophomore Trevor Beaugureau and Lake in the Hills' Trevor Book tied for second place with 180s.
Crystal Lake's Kevin Craig (181) took fourth, and West Dundee’s Johnathan Vogt (184) was fifth.
"When I got to the back nine, I had two birdies in a row, and that's when I knew," said Winkelmann, who had an 85 on Day 1 and was tied for first going into the final round.
Winkelmann finished with three birdies Thursday, giving him five total in two rounds. The boys junior division had a total of 11 birdies in the two days, giving Winkelmann almost half of them.
Winkelmann has played in every McHenry County Junior Golf Association event this summer, and Thursday's result beat his previous best of 81. He credited his short game and acknowledged that his course management has improved throughout the summer.
"I've never broken into the 70s before," Winkelmann said. "I have better course management right now. Knowing where to put the shots, getting high-percentage shots and not hitting it all over the place and giving (shots) away has really helped me."
In the boys senior division, Barrington junior Will Mogler shot an 82 Thursday and finished four shots ahead of Marian Central senior James Lydon (165) with a 161. Both had 79s on Wednesday and were tied for first place going into the second round.
"I got second last year, so getting first feels good," said Mogler, who had birdies on No. 5 and 15. "I wasn't going for every pin. I was just focused on playing smart, and not making any mistakes."
Andrew Lydon, who will be a junior at Marian Central, jumped from fourth to third by shooting an 84. He also shot 84 on Wednesday, giving him a two-round score of 168, three shots behind his brother James.
"I was trying to catch him, but you can only make up so many strokes," said Andrew Lydon, who trailed his brother by five shots after Day 1.
Jacobs senior Daniel Leitner finished fourth with a 169, and Crystal Lake's Jordan Craig and Huntley's Garrett Heinke tied for fifth with 177s.
Crystal Lake Central senior Rylie Schurter followed her strong first-round score (84) with an even better second day. Schurter shot 40 on the front and 41 on the back to shoot an 81 – the fourth-best score of the tournament (boys and girls) – and finished with a two-round total of 165 to clinch the girls senior division.
"I was kind of hoping to break 80, but the last three holes I think the heat and exhaustion kind of got to me, and I lost it a little bit," Schurter said. "This course is really special to me. I like to practice here, because they've got great facilities, so I was really happy I got to play here."
Schurter worked with PGA Teaching Professional J. Anderson after her round Wednesday and saw better results Thursday.
"Today, based on the shots I made, I was really happy," Schurter said. "I worked hard last night, and then this morning, I really zeroed in on my drives, because my drives weren't how I wanted them to be. Because I had better drives today, I had a lot more confidence on the course."
Huntley graduate Caroline Giorgi, who will play golf at the University of Dubuque (Iowa), was runner-up with a 181, McHenry's Joely Pugliese and Huntley grad Nicole Gordus tied for third with 187s, and Prairie Ridge's Morgan Taylor was fifth with a 188.
Lakewood's Renata Petersen won the girls junior division title with a two-round total of 96. Petersen, an incoming freshman at Crystal Lake Central, shot a 50 on the back nine. The junior girls division played the front nine Wednesday, with Petersen leading the way with a 46.
McHenry’s Sarah Fergus (100) was four shots back of Petersen for second place, Nina Shaffer (104) took third, Molly Baker (105) was fourth, and Hampshire’s Delaney Marcuccilli (107) was fifth.
Senior Girls (36 holes)
Rylie Schurter, Crystal Lake Central, senior 84-81 165
Junior Girls (18 holes)
Renata Petersen, Crystal Lake Central, freshman 46-50 96
Senior Boys (36 holes)
Will Mogler, Barrington, junior 79-82 161
Junior Boys (36 holes)
Eddie Winkelmann, Prairie Ridge, freshman 85-76 161