Junior Golf: Joliet-area players dominate SouthtownStar Challenge
By Steve Millar and Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media June 19, 2012 10:54PM
Will McCabe, of Mokena, hits his tee shot on the 14th hole in the boys 13 to 15 division in the SouthtownStar Challenge Junior Golf Championship at Glenwoodie Golf Course in Glenwood, Illinois, Tuesday, June 19, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 21, 2012 6:17AM
Bryant Bolden said the round he put together Tuesday “didn’t live up to my standards.”
Bolden’s standards must be high, because his “B” game was good enough to continue his dominance in the SouthtownStar Challenge Junior Golf Championship.
After becoming the first three-time winner in the event’s 13- to 15-year-old division last year, the move up to the 16 to 18 Division didn’t slow down Bolden, who took home a first-place trophy for the fourth straight year in the 24th edition of the event.
The Mokena native’s 5-over 77 was three shots better than Palos Park native Tom Thanasouras, earning Bolden the Joe Jemsek Trophy at Glenwoodie Golf Course in Glenwood.
“I made a couple of mistakes that I wasn’t happy with,” Bolden said. “It feels good to win again even though I didn’t play as well as I wanted to. I’m always excited to come to this tournament.”
Bolden overcame strong early-morning winds, which reached up to 28 mph, to put up a 37 on the front nine before a 40 on the back. He birdied nine and 18, and made 11 pars.
“My irons were good and I hit a lot of greens on the front and the back,” he said. “I knew I had to post a good number to win this.”
Fellow Mokena native Will McCabe, a Providence student, was the winner of the 13 to 15 Division. His 78 was good enough to edge David Karwoski by one shot.
McCabe made eight pars and two birdies, the second of which came via a long putt on the 13th hole.
“That putt got me back in it,” he said. “It was a pretty exciting win, and it’s a big tournament that I’ve always wanted to win.”
Joliet native Claire O’Connor ran away from the field in the Girls 16 to 18 Division, her 91 six strokes better than Natalie Collina.
O’Connor, a Joliet Catholic student, had five pars and a birdie on the fifth.
“I wasn’t hitting well in practice, but my irons were good (in the round) so that surprised me,” O’Connor said. “I chipped in for that birdie so that set the tone.”
Frankfort native Erin Bullington was the winner in the Girls 13 to 15 Division, her 112 topping Hannah McMahon (115).
Bullington was in the third after a front-nine 57, but her 55 on the back made her the winner.
“My driver was going right (early) so I just started hitting left,” she said. “I putted well and felt much more comfortable than I did (practicing at Glenwoodie) Saturday.”
Manhattan’s Tony Kestel finished third in the Boys 16 to 18 Division, shooting an 81.