Boys Golf: Lincoln-Way Central defends conference title
By Tony Baranek email@example.com September 25, 2012 10:58PM
Lincoln-Way Central High School's Tony Kestel, 17, hits a tee shot during the Southwest Suburban Red boys golf tournament at The Sanctuary Golf Course Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, at 485 N. Marley Rd. in New Lenox. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 27, 2012 6:13AM
The battle between teammates, friends — but in this particular instance also opponents — came down to a final putt.
“It was pretty nerve-racking,” Lincoln-Way Central junior Tony Kestel said. “I’d had some bad shots on 16 and 17.”
No matter. Kestel drained the par putt, giving him a 1-under-par 71 and medalist honors in Tuesday’s SouthWest Suburban Red Tournament at the Sanctuary in New Lenox.
Kestel bested defending champ Bryant Bolden by one shot, the duo spearheading the Knights’ team title defense. Lincoln-Way Central’s total of 296 easily outdistanced runner-up Lincoln-Way North (317).
Central swept the top three spots, as Luke Bannerman took third with a 74. Rounding out the top 10 were Andrew’s Robert Peterson (76), Bradley’s Ryan Ponton (77), Lincoln-Way North’s Drew Korosic and John Orowick (78) and Lincoln-Way Central’s Anthony Bolden, Bradley’s Caleb Woods and Lincoln-Way West’s Andrew O’Keefe (each with 79).
Kestel led most of the way. Helping him to a quick start was his birdie on the No. 1 handicap hole, the 517-yard, par-5 fifth.
“I hit my third shot within five feet and made birdie,” Kestel said. “It was nice to birdie a tough hole like that and get my round going.
“My goal was definitely to come out and win today. I knew I would have competition with Bryant. He was in the group ahead of me, and I was getting updates.”
Bolden birdied the final two holes to put pressure on the leader.
“I was happy to end my round like that,” he said. “This was a confidence-booster for all of us.”
Central won last season’s conference meet by shooting a 307.
“The difference? A 71, a 72 and a 74,” Knights coach Don Hayes said. “When you get those three scores ... Luke Bannerman was really a key person today. You just can’t rely on one or two guys like Tony and Bryant to carry us.
“His score and the freshman (Anthony Bolden) shooting a 79 was big-time.”