In a normal high school golf season, St. Bede’s Nathan Potthoff would have qualified for the IHSA Class 1A State Meet based on his performance Wednesday.
That was little consolation for Potthoff as he stumbled down the stretch at the St. Bede Sectional to tie for 10thon an extremely windy day at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley.
“Not really,” Potthoff said when asked if it meant anything that he would have qualified for state under normal circumstances. “It’s not a normal year, so there’s nothing good about (my performance).”
Potthoff shot a 3-over-par 51 through the first 12 holes before playing 10 over the final six holes to finish with an 85.
“On the front nine, I did pretty well, but after No. 12 it was really bad,” Potthoff said. “I didn’t finish well at all.
“The wind was tough out there. It was blowing pretty hard. Every shot I hit, the wind took. That was for everyone.”
Potthoff made par on five of nine holes on the front and recorded a birdie on No. 8.
“I pushed my drive a little bit to the right,” Potthoff said about No. 8. “I had about 60 yards into the wind. I hit probably a 90-yard shot and the wind brought it all the way back to within eight feet and I actually made the putt, surprisingly.
“After I birdied eight, the wheels fell off and it was rough.”
While Potthoff was disappointed with his finish, Newark-Serena sophomore Camden Figgins was pleased with his performance in his first sectional appearance.
Figgins shot an 86 to tie for 14th. In a normal year, he would have been in a four-person playoff for the final three individual state berths.
“I felt like I played pretty well with the conditions,” Figgins said. “It feels pretty good for my first sectional. It means a lot (to have been in the mix for a state berth) being a sophomore.”
Figgins shot a 42 on the front nine and 44 on the back.
“On the back nine I felt like I played a lot better because it’s a lot straighter so I could hit better knock down shots,” Figgins said. “My approach shots hitting onto the green were pretty good.”
Figgins recorded a birdie on the 387-yard 16th hole.
“I had a good tee shot that put me in the middle of the fairway, then I had a good approach shot and a good putt,” Figgins said.
The sophomore said he hopes to build on the sectional appearance moving forward
“I just have to keep working and keep practicing to get better,” Figgins said.
Somonauk senior Tyler Jansen capped his career by shooting an 87 to tie for 18th.
“I played better on the back nine,” Jansen said. “I had to adjust to the wind. I gave it my all and came out the best I could.
“(Due to the wind), I had to aim more left or right by a lot, but that’s golf. You have to adjust. (On the back nine), putting was the main thing. I was three putting a lot on the first nine. It was good to one putt or two putt.”
Jansen recorded birdies on No. 4 and No. 9. He said he nearly aced the 166-yard ninth hole.
Jansen said he was happy he was able to have a senior season.
“I didn't shoot the best in the beginning, but I came back and shot better every match,” Jansen said. “I’m thankful we even had the opportunity to play.”
In the team competition, Elgin Academy won with a 333 followed by Riverdale (336), Latin (351), Newman (351), IC Catholic (354), Dakota (363), Hinckley-Big Rock (367), Byron (368), Eastland (371) and St. Bede (384).
Rounding out the scores for the Bruins were Jake Delaney (92), Brendan Pillion (98) and Owen Espel (109).
Newark-Serena’s Dylan Cartwright shot an 89, Amboy’s Wesley Wilson carded a 92, Somonauk’s Jaylen Dion had a 93 and teammate Alex Krejci had a 112, and Hall’s Caleb Savitch recorded a 118.