WEST DUNDEE – Crystal Lake Central's Eric Klutke was already in the middle of a special round Monday when he just missed a hole-in-one on the par-3, 191-yard 17th at Randall Oaks.
"I thought that was it," Klutke said. "I really thought I had it, but it just lipped out."
Klutke didn't get an ace, but the sophomore did string together his best round of golf at the Class 3A Dundee-Crown Regional. Klutke finished with a career-high nine birdies and earned medalist honors with a 3-under-par 68.
Klutke was 5 under after making his ninth and final birdie on the par-4 seventh. He bogeyed the final two holes – the par-4 eighth and par-5 ninth – and finished one shot ahead of DeKalb's Jack Paeglow (69).
DeKalb won the regional team title with a score of 310, and Central (326) took second to advance to Monday's DeKalb Sectional at Kishwaukee Country Club. Huntley and Cary-Grove both posted 333s, but Huntley took the third and final qualifying spot with a lower fifth golfer score.
Klutke recently made a fix to his short game with the help of Jim Buenzli of Golf Academy at Terra Cotta.
"He really helped fixed my swing. I was standing too close," Klutke said. "Today, I was just thinking one shot at a time, and it worked out."
Tigers coach Matt LePage followed Klutke for most of the day.
"He's so long off the tee, and he's so straight off the tee that he's usually in position to shoot at pins," LePage said. "He takes on the green, and he's aggressive with his line. It's fun to watch."
D-C's Matt McQuillen placed third with a 76, without the aid of any birdies. He had 13 pars.
"It could have been a lot better. My ball striking was on point," said McQuillen, who had 36 putts.
Bayden Hubacher had a 77 for the Tigers, tying for fourth, followed by Quinn Hankins (82) and Ethan Bass (99). Hubacher shot an 82 at last week's Fox Valley Conference Tournament, also at Randall Oaks.
"That definitely helped," Hubacher said. "I had a better read of the greens."
Huntley was led by Cole Modrich (80), followed by Trevor Book (83), Josh Good (83) and Devin Bowker (87). Tyler Mahon (89) counted the Raiders' fifth score. Bowker was put in the starting lineup Monday after a strong FVC Tournament.
"My season started a little rough, but I'm starting to hit my stride, and I'm happy my score counted," said Bowker, a cart caddie at Randall Oaks.
C-G's Trevor Beaugureau had a 77 to advance and will be joined by teammates Cole Seeger (81) and Michael Greenhill (83). Beaugureau will look to join his brother, Zach, as a state qualifier.
"Zach made it to state by one shot and almost won," Trevor Beaugureau said. "Anything can happen."
D-C's Jake Russell survived a three-golfer playoff for two spots for the last qualifying spot, joining Jacobs senior Jordan Stone, who made a 40-foot chip for birdie on the second playoff hole to advance.
Russell, a freshman, made par on the third playoff hole to eliminate Jacobs' Jason Seaholm.
"We're walking to the tee, and I'm like, 'This is it. I've got ice in my veins,'" Russell said. "It was probably the best drive I had all day. It's a great feeling."
Jacobs' Andrew Rechtsteiner (80), Kyle Schutt (82) and Ryan Frantik (86) also advanced. Bobby Stephenson (81) qualified for Hampshire.
STAR OF THE MEET
Eric Klutke, Crystal Lake Central, so.
Klutke carded a personal-best 3-under par 68 to earn medalist honors.
9: Klutke made nine birdies.
AND ANOTHER THING ...
Huntley and Cary-Grove both shot 333s, but the Red Raiders advanced with a lower fifth golfer score.
Class 3A Dundee-Crown Boys Golf Regional
at Randall Oaks, par 71
Medalist: Eric Klutke (Crystal Lake Central) 68
Team scores (top 3 advance to sectionals): 1. DeKalb 310, 2. Crystal Lake Central 326, 3. Huntley 333, 4. Cary-Grove 333, 5. Jacobs 335, 6. Dundee-Crown 344, 7. Hampshire 367
Top-10 advancing individuals (not on advancing teams): 1. Matt McQuillen (DC) 76, 2. Trevor Beaugureau (CG) 77, 3. Andrew Rechtsteiner (Jac) 80, 4. Cole Seeger (CG) 81, 5. Bobby Stephenson (Hamp) 81, 6. Kyle Schutt (Jac) 82, 7. Michael Greenhill (CG) 83, 8. Ryan Frantik (Jac) 86, 9. Jordan Stone (Jac) 87, 10. Jake Russell (DC) 87
Crystal Lake Central (326): Eric Klutke 68, Bayden Hubacher 77, Quinn Hankins 82, Ethan Bass 999
Huntley (333): Cole Modrich 80, Trevor Book 83, Josh Good 83, Devin Bowker 87
Cary-Grove (333): Trevor Beaugureau 77, Cole Seeger 81, Michael Greenhill 83, Joey Vitullo 92
Jacobs (335): Andrew Rechtsteiner 80, Kyle Schutt 82, Ryan Frantik 86, Jason Seaholm 87
Dundee-Crown (344): Matt McQuillen 76, Jake Russell 87, Aidan Svec 89, Jake Zirlin 92
Hampshire (367): Bobby Stephenson 81, Payton Yee 93, CJ Lindquist 96, Jake Laube 97