Zach Tuszynski was able to use his home-course advantage to capture the J. Patrick Lawler Crystal Woods Open.
Tuszynski, a member of Crystal Woods, said he has played the Route 47 course hundreds of times, but entered the final day of competition there on Thursday trailing by a stroke.
The Crystal Lake Central junior, however, cruised to a seven-shot victory, putting up a two-day total of 147.
“I was kind of iffy on how I was going to do,” Tuszynski told the Northwest Herald about his second-day performance. “I didn’t know if I was going to put up a good enough number to win.”
Shooting a steady 73 (his personal best) and 74, Tuszynski took the title at the McHenry County Junior Golf Association tournament. He got on a roll at the end of his final day, recording four birdies on the final five holes.
“I had my driver and iron working really well, and my putting was solid,” he said. “It feels good to put up two good days and not just have one fluke day.”
Kevin Karney, a senior at Prairie Ridge High School, finished second, with a two-day total of 154. His brother, Cameron, a sophomore at the school, took fourth, after leading after Day 1, with a two-day total of 156.
“I feel kind of bad because (Cameron) didn’t play very well (Thursday), but I’m still happy that I beat him,” Kevin Karney said. “It’s just a little competitiveness – trying to outdo the other player – and that makes us play better too.”
Hunter Simonini, a Marengo graduate who will attend Rock Valley College this fall, was third, finishing with a 155. He said playing in his final McHenry County Junior was bittersweet.
The junior division title went to Dundee-Crown sophomore J.P. Anderson, who shot a two-day 154, with rounds of 76 and 78. Garrett Tighe of Jacobs High School was second with a 158; and Casey Hunter of Crystal Lake South took third with a score of 170.
Taking the girls senior division title was Brittany Reid, a senior at Cary-Gove High School, who was able to top her teammate, fellow senior Lauren Kalamaras. Reid won by four strokes, with an 84 (girls play nine holes each day) despite struggling on the second day’s final four holes. She said tough greens made it difficult to get any kind of rhythm coming home.
“(Wednesday) they were quite slow, and (Thursday) they were actually really fast,” she said. “We all thought they were going to be slower from the dew, but the dew actually somehow made them faster … I was kind of zigzagging my way through the last four holes.”
Maddie Ogden of McHenry High School was third; and Caroline Giorgi of Huntley High School was fourth.
In the girls’ junior division, Nicole Gordus, a junior at Huntley, topped Rylie Schurter of Crystal Lake Central by five shots. Lynsie Pietrzak of Woodstock High School took third.
All trophies were provided by the J. Patrick Lawler Junior Golf Fund, which raises about $5,000 each year for junior golf.
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