With temperatures dropping into the low 60s and rain intermittently falling throughout the morning and early afternoon, the conditions for the Chicago Catholic League (CCL) golf meet were less than ideal.
However, St. Ignatius senior Robert Cox and the Wolfpack weren’t going to let some inclement weather slow them down.
Cox shot 73 to finish third overall, and St. Ignatius finished third as a team at the 11-team CCL meet on Oct. 2 at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club’s course No. 3.
It was the Wolfpack’s second straight third-place finish.
“The weather impacts your shots, how the ball flies and how you take your shot. It’s cold and horrible, so it’s tougher,” Cox said. “The conditions were pretty tough. That made it even tougher to shoot 307 as a team, so that was pretty good.”
Loyola Academy (288) won its second straight title and fourth in five years.
Fenwick (302) finished second.
Leading the Wolfpack, Cox was especially impressive on the back nine with a 2-under-par 35. He birdied No. 10, 15 and 17.
Cox credited his putter.
“I couldn’t get any putts to drop on the front nine with 6 pars and 3 bogies,” Cox said. “The key was that back nine. I birdied No. 10 and started hitting my irons, and putts started falling. That was pretty good.”
Also scoring for the Wolfpack were Gary Chong (77), Liam Nelson (78) and Ryan Wolfe (79).
St. Ignatius competed at the Class 2A St. Rita regional meet at Glenwoodie Golf Club on Oct. 7, after press time.
“It meant a lot to finish third at Catholic League,” Cox said. “We’re getting better as we went into the postseason. That’s a good thing to see. We had a pretty good season, but we’ve got to shoot those low numbers.”
Quinn Clifford was having a rough day.
No matter what he did, he rarely hit a green, and when he did, his putts just weren’t dropping.
However, he was determined to make the best of it.
Shooting 77, Clifford (Mt. Greenwood, Queen of Martyrs) helped power Br. Rice (317) to a fifth-place finish behind Marmion Academy (313).
“I was scrambling the whole time,” Clifford said. “The greens I hit, I just couldn’t drop a birdie putt. It was a grind, but a 77 isn’t bad for the way I hit it today.”
Junior Ben Zarlengo led the Crusaders with a round of 76 (38-38).
Sophomore Tony Macellaio (78) and junior Mike Mullarkey (86) also scored for Br. Rice.
Clifford credited a busy offseason working with the TrackMan Golf Radar Simulator for lowering scores across the team.
Br. Rice competed at the Class 2A Marian Catholic regional on Oct. 7, after press time, at Calumet Country Club in Homewood.
“Our top four golfers really went at it this winter. We figured out how to get good results when you’re hitting,” Clifford said. “It was all that work in the winter that put us ahead. We all have the ability. It’s a matter of if we all click at the same time.”
Prepping for his round, Mustangs junior Liam McKillop hit a bucket of balls at the range, but something wasn’t quite right.
He hit another bucket of balls, and everything clicked into place.
McKillop shot 77 to lead St. Rita (337) to a seventh-place finish.
“I was swinging way too hard. I was trying to hit the ball 350 yards every time,” McKillop said. “It’s taking it easy and finding the fairways more often than hitting it long.”
McKillop is a Mt. Greenwood resident and St. Christina graduate. The junior credited his steady play throughout the round rather than one or two standout holes.
“This year, it’s been more about trying to find a swing and repeat it,” McKillop said. “You try to hit the fairways and get on the greens. More than anything, it’s realizing every shot is so important.”
A young St. Rita squad had a solid showing with junior Tommy Gleason (84), sophomore Jonathan Henze (87) and senior Luke O’Grady (89) rounding out the top four scores.
St. Rita hosted a Class 2A regional on Oct. 7, after press time.
“This year is about getting the experience and getting as much as we can out of the season,” McKillop said. “We’re really gearing up for next year, too. We can be really good.”
With his older brother, Abdel Raoul, being a standout golfer last season on the varsity team, Ahmad Raoul quickly picked up a nickname in his freshman season.
Now with his brother playing at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, Ahmad, a sophomore, is all about shedding that nickname.
“Little Abdel, as people like to call me around school,” Ahmad said with a smile. “He’s in college and making his own legacy; it’s my turn to make my own legacy in high school. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Raoul shot an 82 to lead Mt. Carmel (344) to eighth place.
His round started in a consistent rain with temperatures dropping throughout his round.
“I tried not to power over the weather. You just get through it,” Raoul said. “I picked up the pace once the rain subsided. There were a lot of shots I can work on, putting, approach shots, drives, but it wasn’t a bad round. I can work with that.”
Chris Welton (84), Charlie Zwick (87) and Matt McCarthy (91) scored for the Caravan.
St. Laurence (361) and De La Salle (422) finished 10th and 11th, respectively. Senior Robbie Moore (85) led the Vikings, and Ethan Verner (94) led the Meteors.