High school boys golf: Barrington's Bouchard outlasts Crystal Lake Central's Klutke for sectional title

ROCKFORD – Barrington’s Ian Bouchard’s knees were a little shaky, but his focus was steady.

Bouchard stepped up and made a 20-foot putt for par on the the first playoff hole at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club, banging the flag stick and dropping in, to win the individual title Thursday at the Class 3A Rockford Auburn Sectional.

Crystal Lake Central junior Eric Klutke followed and misfired on a 15-footer to finish runner-up in the last high school golf event of the season. Bouchard and Klutke had matching 1-over-par 72s in regulation.

Defending Class 3A state champion Lake Forest won the team title by six shots with a score of 304. Barrington (310) was second and Hersey (317) took third. Stevenson (322) finished fourth, followed by Crystal Lake Central (330) and Mundelein (339).

Bouchard waited nearly two hours between his final hole in regulation and the playoff.

The wait was worth it for the Broncos senior.

“I’ve been in playoffs before, but nothing like this, with everybody watching,” said Bouchard, who made three birdies in regulation. “I thought because the conditions were tough with the wind and cold, a 72 would be close. It’s just kind of cool that I was the one to do it.”

Bouchard had some serious nerves as he walked to the first playoff hole.

“My knees were shaking and I had butterflies in my stomach,” Bouchard said. “When it went in I just gave a little first pump. Winning a playoff at sectionals with great competition, it’s really cool. It’s a great way to end my high school career.”

Barrington’s three other scores were from Walker Grelle (78), Dylan Dunne (78), Matt Lee (82) and Owen Naughten (82).

Klutke, who won medalist honors at regionals with a 68, was stuck on 1-over par for the final 10 holes of his round.

The Tigers lefty was 2-under par through five holes, with an eagle on the par-5 No. 3 and birdie on the par-4 No. 5. He had bogeys on holes 1, 6 and 8 and made par from No. 9 on.

“I felt pretty good about my score, but there were a couple I wanted back,” Klutke said. “I had a few bad ones that caused some bad numbers. On the back nine I just sort of slapped it around too much.”

Klutke, whose finish would have sent him to state for the second straight year, and the Tigers have plenty to look forward to.

Central, which won the Fox Valley Conference championship, can return four of its starting six golfers, including Bayden Hubacher (80), Ethan Bass (89) and Christian Wakeford (89). Wakeford, a junior, rejoined the Tigers this season after playing soccer as a sophomore.

The Tigers are losing Quinn Hankins (93) and Jack Benoit (96) to graduation.

“It was fun winning this year as a team,” Klutke said. "Next year, we’re going to make a run at state. That’s what I’m really looking forward to.”

Hersey’s Tyler Irwin (73, third place) and Henry Quinn (74, fifth) paced the Huskies to a third-place finish, a week after Harlem captured a regional championship. Hersey’s other counting scores came from Max Sheldon (84) and Jake Cohen (86).

“It’s a great ending to a great high school career,” said Irwin, who will play at Illinois Wesleyan. “We wanted to win it, and I wanted to win it all. It didn’t happen like that, but I’m really proud of our team and all of the records we set. It’s all over know I guess.”

Conan Pan paced Stevenson with a 75 and took sixth overall, followed by Nick Udoni (80), Arthur Hancock (83) and Bradley Park (84). If a state tournament was held this season, Pan would have finished as a four-time qualifier.

“I think it’s a culmination of my hard work, and, being the end of the season, I always want to play my best at this time of year,” Pan said. “I always try to bring my ‘A’ game, so I’m pretty happy with today.”

Buffalo Grove’s Dori Lee took fourth with a 74, and Lake Forest’s Will Webb was seventh with a 75. The top seven individuals all received medals.

Mundelein was led by Parker Neumaier with an 83. Carson Kowalski carded an 84, Brandon Hinkle had an 85, and Matthew Kisselburg had an 87 to round out the scoring for the Mustangs.

Placing in the top 15 were Deerfield’s Will Hulsey (78) and Buffalo Grove’s Ryan Beerheide (79). Jacobs junior Jason Seaholm (81) and senior Kyle Schutt (84) placed in the top 30.

Huntley's Danny Sheedy and Josh Good, both juniors, shot 85 and 91, respectively.

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