Pohl leads Lyons golfers
Shoots two-under as Lions roll to regional win
By Steve Metsch
Standing in a sand trap beside the 18th green at Harborside International’s Starboard course, Lyons Township senior Griffin Pohl knew he “had to get up and down.”
If he did, he’d win the Class 3A boys golf regional.
Pohl neatly placed the golf ball about six feet from the hole. Moments later, he calmly rolled it in. After retrieving the ball, he flashed a big smile to teammates waiting nearby, flashing four fingers to signify four strokes for the birdie.
Pohl shot a two-under-par 70. Lyons win the team crown with a 297, well ahead of Whitney Young’s 319. “I’m happy that the team won,” Pohl said.
Lyons senior Griffin Pohl celebrates after winning the Class 3A Regional at Harborside. Photo by Steve Metsch.
After shooting 35-35, Pohl said: “I didn’t play super well, but I’m happy with my final score.”
A long putt on 16 that nearly fell in boosted his confidence.
“I’d been struggling with distance control the whole round and I feel like, in the closing holes when I needed to two-putt, I kind of dialed in the distance,” Pohl said. “And that was the difference.”
After the first hole, Lyons Coach Brian Kopecky took Pohl aside and told him “to be smart, to not overpower the course,” Pohl said.
Lyons and Whitney Young both will play in the Oct. 12 sectional at Bridges of Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates.
Argo junior Dan Davila shot an 80 and Riverside-Brookfield senior Jackson Fields shot 81 to qualify as individuals.
Argo Golf Coach Katie Smith said Davila “worked hard in the offseason and his goal was to get to the sectional again.”
Unfortunately, that’s as far as anyone can advance this year, as the IHSA has decided to not hold a state tourney because of the pandemic.
Argo junior Dan Davila shot an 80 to qualify for the sectional a second straight year. Photo by Steve Metsch.
Argo took eighth in the Oct. 6 regional with a 397. Riverside-Brookfield was fifth at 337, and Morton seventh at 380.
Lyons was a model of consistency.
Junior Will Caronchi tied for third with a 72; sophomore Jack Berry was fifth with a 76; and senior Callum Mitchell placed eighth with a 79. Those scores went to the team total.
For good measure, senior Trenton Garrett and junior Wyatt Kartheiser both shot 81 for shares of 10th place.
Kopecky deadpanned “it’s all coaching” moments after Pohl’s last putt.
“I’m happy,” Kopecky said. “These two guys, Pohl and Caronchi, are the pin setters for us. It’s awesome.”
Kopecky called Berry’s 76 “outstanding,” and was impressed with Mitchell: “’Mitch’ was grinding. He couldn’t make a putt to save his soul, but he kept on going and he birdied the last hole for a 79.”
While Kopecky was disappointed by Lyons’ play in the conference meet – the Lyons placed fourth on Oct. 3 – he is encouraged for the sectional.
“We need one more guy to shoot a 75, 76 (In the sectional) and then we’ve got a chance with the big dogs,” he said.
Riverside-Brookfield nearly saw two Bulldogs advance. But senior James Berger with an 82 missed the cut by one stroke. He closed with a double-bogey and a bogey, Coach Jim Festle said.
“Like you’d expect,” Festle said when about Berger’s reaction. “I could see it coming. I’m watching the last four holes and I know his demeanor. I felt bad.”
Berger played with Davila, Morton’s Daniel Reiter and Charlie Kulwin of Walter Payton College Prep. Kulwin’s 71 was second only to Pohl’s 70.
“It comes down to the short game,” Festle said. “Charlie’s not the most glamourous guy out there, but he ends up shooting a 71 on a real tough course.”
During the back nine, Reiter muttered “I’m such a bad golfer” after he topped a tee shot that traveled perhaps 50 yards. He earlier had told his group “if I break 90 today, I’ll be a happy man.”
Consider him happy. Although he missed the cut, Reiter carded an 85, good enough for a share of 19th place.
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