Boys state golf: For L-W East fourth score is key
BY LOGAN MALLOY For Sun-Times Media October 17, 2013 8:18PM
Lincoln-Way East's Matt Contey tees off at the 11th and watches his shot at the Joliet Townships Boys Golf Sectional held at Inwood Golf Course in Joliet on Monday, October 10, 2011. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Where and When: Friday and Saturday, Prairie Vista in Bloomington
Individual Qualifiers: Michael Barber, Jr., Beecher; Jack Costello, So., Morgan Park Academy.
Where and When: Friday and Saturday, Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University.
Individual Qualifiers 2A: Dave Karwoski, Sr., Oak Forest; Sean Knights, Jr., Lincoln-Way West; Steven Massey, Jr., Illiana Christian; Jay Timmer, Sr., Chicago Christian; Jordan Velez, Jr., St. Laurence; Mathew Zandstra, So., Illiana Christian.
Where and When: Friday and Saturday, The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.
Team Qualifier: Lincoln-Way East
Individual Qualifiers: Dom Cascino, Jr., Providence; Ricky Costello, Fr., Providence; Gehrig Hollatz, Jr., Lockport; Tony Kestel, Sr., Lincoln-Way Central; Jack Mulligan, So., Homewood-Flossmoor.
Updated: November 19, 2013 6:41AM
Lincoln-Way East senior Matt Contey recognized what it would take for the Griffins to advance to the state tournament.
As deep and consistent as the program had been, Contey said the team was “struggling with the fourth score.”
In prep golf, which takes the top four cards from a team of six, the fourth score can mean the difference between going home or moving on.
“We really needed to put one together,” Contey said, “and a couple of guys came through with big scores for us.”
This time, the fourth score came from senior Dan Olivieri, who’s 82 at the Class 3A Pekin Sectional propelled East to the state tournament for just the second time in school history.
Olivieri added to the consistent trio of Jake White (75), Contey (78) and Tyler Kelly (81), giving East a two-stoke edge over Providence for the third and final team qualifying spot. Lockport, too, was right there, just four strokes off East’s pace.
“I’ve been on varsity all four years, and I’ve never been to state,” Contey said. “As a senior, I couldn’t ask for better.”
Talented sophomore Victor Perez and Lee Hill, a junior, round out the squad headed by coach Ryan Pohlmann.
“Jake White and Tyler Kelly are two of my closest friends, so it’s awesome to do this with them,” Contey added. “All the guys on the team are close friends.”
Joining East Friday and Saturday at The Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington are a slew of talented golfers headlined by Providence freshman Ricky Costello, Lockport’s Gehrig Hollatz, Joliet co-op’s Trent Wallace and Lincoln-Way Central’s Tony Kestel.
Having led the Celtics to three state qualifying bids, Providence coach John Platt knows a thing or two about the state tournament. He said it boils down to a numbers game.
“You’ve got to realize that 70 percent of the kids are just happy to be there,” Platt said. “Then of the remaining 30 percent, 15 percent let the greens get to their head. So 15 percent have a real chance to win. If you can get through that — the greens are fast — you’ll have a shot.”
Platt envisions Costello, the Pekin Sectional champ, finishing among the state’s if he brings his ‘A’ game.
“He’s very well seasoned in tournament golf,” Platt said. “He’s played in some really big tournaments. He’s familiar with a lot of top players in the state and he’s used to being in that situation.”
In Class 2A, St. Laurence junior Jordan Velez looks like one of the top contenders. Velez already owns two top-20 state finishes to his name and comes in as the runner-up of the 2013 Chicago Catholic League tournament.