Lemont takes top honors at Joliet Catholic RegionalShane Purtle of Lemont H.S. chips the ball out of the rough. The Joliet Catholic Boys Golf Regional was held Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at Joliet Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. | Robyn Sheldon~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 4, 2011 10:18PM
As Joliet Country Club wore down golfer after golfer at Tuesday’s Class 2A Joliet Catholic Regional, Lincoln-Way West’s Will Knights took a deep breath and relaxed.
Recovering from early bogies, Knights cruised to the individual championship, shooting a 76 and finishing four strokes ahead of Lemont’s Ray Cepele and Shane Purtle.
“I struggled early on with my putting, and the greens were really fast,” Knights said. “I adjusted and found a way to two-putt and get off the holes with a par.”
Lemont took top honors with a score of 327, placing ahead of Joliet Catholic (335) and Lincoln-Way West (345). All three teams advanced to Saturday’s Lemont Sectional.
“We didn’t play our best, but we wanted to get through and third was our goal,” Knights said. “We made it to sectional last year and we wanted to get back.”
Cepele and Purtle led Lemont with 80s. Kevin Kling had an 83 for the Indians, and Brian Zabiegley and Eric Gruber posted 84s.
Lemont had not competed at Joliet Country Club this season, playing just 12 holes there in a practice round. The 327 final score was the highest of the season for the Indians.
“We’re happy we won but frustrated we didn’t play well,” Lemont coach Mark Hollatz said. “I like that we’re upset. We want to get back to state, and we don’t care how.”
Joliet Catholic’s scorers included Nick Lennon (82), Cole Parris (83), Drew Stover (85) and Brandon Newsome (85).
Also scoring for West was Jerry Lombardo (88), Sean Knights (90) and Mike Bato (91).
Advancing individually to Saturday’s sectional were Chicago Christian’s Alex Svabek (83), Jeffrey Kamp (91) and Blaine Wright (91), Illiana Christian’s Jonathan Zandystra (84), Braden Mulder (88) and Elliott Chapman (91), Oak Forest’s Josh Griffin (88), Nick Flynn (90) and Tyler Ross (92) and Tinley Park’s Dave Beam (89).