Moments after finishing lunch following their rounds in the IHSA Class 2A state meet, Kaneland boys golfers voted to take a field trip.
Forget the hotel. The Knights departed the clubhouse at Illinois State’s Weibring Golf Club in Normal and headed for The Den at Fox Creek in adjacent Bloomington.
The Den is the site of this weekend’s Class 3A meet, but the Knights had no interest in watching. They bellied up to the pro shop counter, paid for a few buckets and took aim at the range.
“We felt like we had a little more left in our tank and we wanted to practice and hit some range balls,” senior Sean Glennon said. “We thought we could use a little bit of a tune-up.”
Kaneland shot a handful of strokes above each player’s season average as tournament play opened Friday. A collective 57-over par, the Knights enter today’s final round tied for 10th among 12 teams, but still a manageable 20 shots behind co-leaders Belleville Althoff and Normal University.
“We didn’t come out and play like we wanted to, but looking at some of the scores, we’re certainly not out of it,” Knights coach Mark Meyer said. “If we can come out and play more toward our average [today] or under, we can maybe leave with some hardware. And we’ll definitely leave happy.”
Junior Matt Yonkovich paced Kaneland with an 83, and was followed by Luke Kreiter (85), Connor Williams (85) and Brody Kuhar (88).
Yonkovich, Kuhar and Glennon each notched birdies as they hoped to capitalize on experience from a 2011 practice round at Weibring.
Emily Wakeley, playing as the first girls golfer from Genoa-Kingston to ever qualify for the state championships, shot an 89 in her opening round of the girls Class A state championships. Wakeley, who started on the back nine, shot 44 on her opening nine holes, including a birdie on No. 18. Wakeley closed her round with a 45, making pars on three of her final four holes.
• Kevin Druley contributed to this report.