sports 4 days ago

PREP BOYS GOLF: Tigers in comfort zone on 3A state course

The Telegraph, Alton, Ill. — Greg Shashack The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.

Oct. 12--Ben Tyrrell had no specific goals or expectations this weekend for the Edwardsville Tigers boys golf team at the Class 3A state tournament.

"I want the team to just keep hitting one shot at a time and play really well," he said.

Tyrrell's personal ambition is less ambiguous.

"My goal," he said, "is to win it."

A top-15 finish Saturday in the Class 3A tourney Friday and Saturday at The Den and Fox Creek in Bloomington will make Tyrrell the first three-time state medalist in Tigers history. He tied for seventh at state as a junior after tying for 13th as a sophomore.

Tyrrell is hoping to join former teammate and 2015 Class 3A state champion Justin Hemings as Edwardsville golf's only state champions.

"I think he is expecting to go up there and win it," Edwardsville coach Adam Tyler said, "like he should."

Tyrell, who shot a 62 to set a tourney at course record at the Mattoon Invite at Meadowview golf course last month, is coming off rounds of 74 at the sectional and 73 at the regional.

The Tigers are making their third straight trip to state as a team. A runner-up finish at the Belleville East Regional and a third-place finish at the Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional put Edwardsville back on a familiar course for state.

"I think we're very comfortable at The Den," said Tyler, whose team placed sixth at state in 2016. "We like that course. A couple of the players were really looking just to get out of the sectional so we could get another crack at The Den.

"When you're at the state tournament, not only are you playing against the best teams in the state, you're playing against some of the best teams in the nation. This year is no different. ... We're going to go up there, play the course and see what happens."

The sectional lineup of seniors Tyrrell, Tanner White and Jon Ratterman, junior Zach Trimpe and sophomores Ian Bailey and Trevor Laub are expected to be back on the course for the Tigers at state.

White is a two-time Southwestern Conference Tournament champion and was a state medalist with an 11th-place finish last season. Trimpe is back with the Tigers after not playing last season to focus on tennis. He is a two-time Telegraph Tennis Player of the Year and won a state doubles championship last spring.

"I know that tennis is his main sport, but I was really, really happy that he decided to play golf this year," Tyler said after Trimpe shot a 77 in the sectional. "Without him -- not only today, but for most of the year -- we wouldn't be where we're at right now."

Class 2A -- Marquette Catholic was denied a third successive state trip as a team, but the Explorers will have senior Jack Patterson and junior Kolten Bauer in the field at the Illinois State's Weibring Golf Club in Normal.

It is the third state appearance for both Marquette golfers. Bauer placed 32nd last season with a 32-hole score of 158. Patterson was 76th at 169.

Patterson punched his ticket to state with a 74 in the sectional at Salem Country Club. Bauer came in one-shot under the cut for state as one of six to shoot 75.

Class 1A -- Carrollton's Noah Robinson will be the area's lone representative in the 1A field at Prairie Vista in Bloomington. Robinson returns to state after shooting 178 to finish 73rd last season. The Hawks senior advanced from the Wesclin Sectional with a 79 at Governor's Run in Carlyle.

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