Boys golf: Agarwal's low round leads Stevenson to 2nd at NSC tourney

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/20/2022 6:07 PM

Abhay Agarwal, in a shotgun start, began his round at the North Suburban Conference boys championship golf tourney on the 13th hole.

He's not superstitious, but the Stevenson junior admitted to being "a little worried" on teeing off at what some people might consider 'unlucky 13.'

 

That slight bit of dread was reinforced when Agarwal hooked his drive on 13, then hit his second shot into a greenside bunker.

"After that first drive," Agarwal said, "I said 'it's going to be a rough day.' But I turned it around."

Did he ever.

The junior holed out from the bunker, the ball rolling into the cup for a first hole birdie, and he went on from there.

Agarwal finished with a 1-over 73 at Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Great Lakes, good for the fourth place individual medal, and his stellar round helped the Patriots to a second-place finish.

Lake Forest won the meet with a 301, and combined with the Scouts' perfect 7-0 mark in the regular season, led them to claim the overall NSC title.

The Patriots (311), Libertyville (314) and Mundelein (316) followed.

Stevenson golfers Jun Park (75, fifth place), Richard Wang (81), Andrew Chen (82) and Bobby Yun (82) each contributed to the Patriots' runner-up placement.

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"Our team has had a pretty good season so far," said Agarwal, "and we wanted to come out today and see how low we could go."

Lake Zurich's Zach Lawler took third by firing an even par-72.

That score included a birdie on the par-5 10th hole, judged the second most difficult hole on the course, where he said he "hit my drive way right, hit my second shot way right, then hit a 60-yard full swing flop shot within 10 feet and made the putt."

Initially, Lawler thought he had just made par on the hole -- not realizing that the course had changed the 10th from a par 4 to a par 5.

Lawler started his round on the first hole, and said that he liked starting on hole 1 because "it gave me several early birdie opportunities."

"That was a good way to start my day." he said. "I've had a pretty good year so far, actually, some good rounds, but some bad rounds as well."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Alex Welder of Warren carded a 76, good for sixth; Dreu Mackenzie of Lake Zurich (77) took home eighth; while Wyatt Sorensen of Libertyville (77) was ninth and Miles Begg from Mundelein (79) was 10th.

Brandon Hinkle, Adam Adaska and Matthew Kisselburg all shot 79 as well for Mundelein.

Libertyville sophomore Ryan Andrews had a 76, good for seventh.

It's the first year on the varsity squad for Andrews.

"He's a good kid, and he works really hard," said Wildcats coach Sean Matthews. "He practices all the time and is getting better and better. He had a couple of weeks (earlier in the season) where he had to get his feet under him, but the last few weeks he's been playing great."

Andrews said he had to adjust to the changing weather conditions at Veterans on Tuesday.

"It was fun to begin with," he said. "The wind wasn't really blowing, but the last few holes it picked up and was kind of tough."

Andrews birded holes 15-16-17, and said that during the trio of 1-unders he "made a lot of good putts."

Matthews added that despite the fact that Andrews is just a sophomore, he's had no trouble fitting in with the varsity team.

"In the last five years or so," said the coach, "the younger kids have been playing in all kinds of different tournaments, AJGA and IJGA, going to different states, and just getting more comfortable.

"I would think it's tough when you're playing against seniors, but Ryan has handled it very well."

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