By JEFF LAMPE
For The Weekly Post
SHERRARD – Time was, shooting 5 over par on one hole might have sent Tanner Wake into a funk.
Not any longer. Not after four years of working hard to hone his golf game with one goal in mind.
The Elmwood senior overcame a disastrous hole on Sept. 27 to shoot a 6-over round of 78 to top 85 other golfers in the Class 1A regional held at Valley View Club in Cambridge.
“You just have to stay out of your head,” Wake said. “I hit my next drive pretty straight, bogeyed that hole and finished the next two even.”
Wake was tested even more mightily on Monday in sectional action at par-70 Fyre Lake National Golf Club near Sherrard. He was 4 over on his first three holes and had a four-over stretch on four holes of the back nine.
But once again, he righted the ship to finish his final four holes in 1 under par, with the highlight an 18th-hole birdie.
Wake finished with a 10-over 80 to finish 11th out of 112 golfers at the sectional – good enough to achieve a four-year goal of reaching the state finals.
At the sectional, players from the top three teams and the top 10 individuals not on those teams advance to state, meaning Wake will tee off Friday at 9:51 a.m. in the Class 1A tourney at Prairie Vista Golf Club in Bloomington.
So far, that’s the capper to what Wake said has been a very enjoyable season that saw him average 37 on nine holes – and overcome that horrible hole at regional. On that hole, Wake had an out-of-bounds drive and then later a drop after hitting into a lateral.
Also in his round were three birdies on the 6,017-yard layout.
“It’s pretty amazing to be able to win the regional,” he said.
Also competing Monday in the sectional at Fyre Lake were three other local boys golfers.
Preston Lafary of ROWVA-Williamsfield shot 85 to place 34th. Lafary had also shot an 85 at regional to advance.
Brimfield senior Drew Kieser shot 91 to place 56th at the sectional while his junior teammate Nick Hainline carded a 96. Kieser was fourth at the regional with a 10-over round of 82, while Hainline shot 85.
Brimfield’s boys team was fifth at regional with 366 strokes, nine off a sectional qualifying spot and 28 behind winner Sherrard. Other scorers were Dane Fagerburg (42nd, 99) and Kaeden Schatsiek (44th 100).
Girls golfers – Olivia Kappes of Brimfield shot 98 to place 32nd Monday and lead a contingent of local girls at the Class 1A sectional at Wolf Creek Golf Club near Pontiac.
Avery Rigg of ROWVA-Williamsfield shot 99 and placed 34th to lead the first girls golf team for ROWVA or Williamsfield to reach the sectional.
Other scoring golfers for R-W were Kendra Bennett (78th, 113), Sidney Stiers (92nd, 121) and Ava Landon (97th, 126).
Also Monday, Callie Lundell of Brimfield carded a 100 to place 37th, Maddie Conklin of Elmwood shot her personal best 18-hole round of 103 to place 53rd and CJ Troxell of Brimfield was 73rd with a 111.
The R-W girls had placed third at Midland Golf Club in the regional on Sept. 28 with a total of 437 strokes. Rigg led with a 96 to place eighth and other scoring golfers were Bennett (21st, 104), Landon (33rd, 118) and Ella Erlacher (34th, 119).
At Kellogg Golf Course in Peoria on Sept. 28, Kappes placed 15th in the regional with a round of 100 and was followed by Troxell (17th, 100), Lundell (20th, 101) and Conklin (23rd, 105).
By JEFF LAMPE