After getting constant updates on where he was at on the leader board during the state golf tournament as a junior, Putnam County senior Ian Roach didn’t want that this fall.
So after starting Saturday tied for third place, Roach had no idea that at one point he had slipped back to eighth place.
“The live scoring at state was interesting,” Roach said. “Last year when I was with (coach Ryan Harvey), I was always asking him where I was at. That’s probably not too good to do that to yourself because you want to try to focus on what your game is doing and not what everyone else is doing. I didn’t want to know where I was until the end.”
That mentality helped Roach shoot 1-under par on the final 13 holes to record a 3-over-par 75 on Saturday and a two-day score of 147 to place fourth IHSA Class 1A State Tournament at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
“I think 3-over par my freshman year got second place, so I can’t be too upset,” Roach said. “It just shows how much progress I’ve made and how much my hard work has made me a better golfer, so it does mean a lot.”
Roach’s fourth-place finish put an exclaimation point on a career that also included four state appearances and a 10th-place medal as a junior.
“It’s just cool to even see the Putnam County name on the leader board when you go on the IHSA website,” PC coach Chelsi Straughn-Niewinski said. “He played great. His goal was to win it or be in the top two, but he was happy in the end getting fourth. He went to state all four years and kept finishing higher and higher every year so it’s a really good accomplishment.
“He works really hard, so he deserved to have a nice finish like this.”
Roach had a tough start to the round as he started with back-to-back pars before recording bogey, double bogey, bogey.
“After the first five holes he was 4-over-par,” Straughn-Niewinski said. “He had a couple bogeys and had an unfortunate shot where he hit a cart path and kicked his ball out of bounds, so it was a really bad break. He does a pretty good job of staying focused. He was down because he had three holes in a row with a bogey or double bogey then he said he was focused on making a par, and he made par on the next four holes and got a couple birdies. It was good to see him pull it back together and not let it get out of control.”
After closing the front nine with four consecutive pars, he opened the back nine with three consecutive pars before recording a birdie on No. 13. He also had a birdie on No. 16.
“It was a little bit iffy because on the front nine I had a drive that went OB,” Roach said about his round. “I did have a lot of really good drives. My irons weren’t super good, but good enough where I could get it on the green and two putt most of the time or save a few pars and make a couple birdies. It was not as solid as the first day, but it was solid enough.”
Roach said he’s now ready to move forward with a golf career at IVCC on the horizon.
“Now looking forward to the future, I can say my highest place in state was fourth compared to when I was a freshman and I was 46 place,” Roach said. “It means a lot to cap it off (with a fourth place). … I’m happy and ready to move on to the future.”
Peoria Christian freshman Weston Walker won the individual title with a 143. Breese Mater Dei won the team title by a stroke over Althoff Catholic.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.