Prairie Ridge’s Cameron Karney fired a 1-under-par 70 at Weibring at Illinois State University in Normal on Friday to finish the first round tied for second place in the Class 2A state tournament.
Tommy Kuhl of Morton leads the field with an 8-under 63. Marquette’s Kolten Bauer (70) is tied with Karney for second.
Prairie Ridge, which won a regional and sectional title to make it to state for the first time, is in fifth with a team score of 309. St. Viator leads with a 301, followed by Normal University (305), Champaign Central (307) and Charleston (307).
Junior Dominic Leli had a 78 for the Wolves, senior James Michaelson had an 80, and Hunter Fredrick, a junior, rounded out the scoring with an 81.
“I think our team did well,” said Karney, a senior, who placed 23rd at the Class 3A state meet last year. “We’re eight shots off the lead, and that’s not a lot. That’s two shots a person. If we play our game, we’ll give ourselves a chance tomorrow."
Karney started on the front nine and made an eagle on the par-4 No. 5. He finished even on the front and 1 under on the back with three birdies in his opening round.
“That was incredible,” Powell said of Karney’s eagle. “He was about 145 yards out. I was on the green at the time, and he was down by the trees. When he hit it, I didn’t know what kind of shot he was playing. When he hit it, it came out clean. I looked to the green and saw it bounce once, maybe twice, and then it went right in.”
Powell said the team feels like it put itself in good position to finish in the top three and place.
“It’s new to them because it’s a two-day thing, but I think when they put it in perspective, they’ll realize how close we are to getting some hardware," Powell said.
Class 3A state tournament: At The Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington, Jacobs junior Garrett Tighe and McHenry sophomore Truman Keppy are tied for seventh after shooting 1-over 73s.
Hinsdale Central’s Josh Lundmark (69) and Edwardsville’s Ben Tyrrell (69) are tied for first going into the second round. Tighe and Keppy are both playing in their first state tournament.
Tighe went 1 under on the front with four birdies, and 2-over on the back nine with one birdie. He gave two shots back on the next hole with a double bogey but was happy with his overall play.
“I put myself in contention,” Tighe said. “I was a little nervous because it was my first time, but those nerves go away fast. My putting was pretty good, and my drives were straight, so that helped. I hit a lot of fairways. I was 3-under at one point on the front, but made a bad double on the next hole. I’m just trying to catch the leader ... try to get up there.”
Keppy made three birdies, one double bogey, two bogeys and 12 pars in his first state round.
“I was confident all day today, and I knew I was going to put up a good score,” Keppy said. “If I have a shot to win this, I need to improve my putting, because I only missed one fairway today and two greens.”
Dundee-Crown senior JP Anderson, also playing in his first state tournament, shot an 8-over 80, and is tied for 57th. Anderson made one birdie in his first round, going 1 over on the back and 7 over on the front.