Three Shamrock Golfers Advance to Sectionals
Shamrock Golf played in the IHSA Regionals today at The Village Links of Glen Ellyn. Below are reflections on the day and season by Head Coach Matt McIntee. Congratulations, Shamrocks!
Great day today. I’m really proud of the team. Our philosophy is win as a team, lose as a team, always – always – always stick together as a team. Never more have I seen that today. On a very tough course, under stressful conditions and against great competition, the team hung together like they have all season, and from top to bottom, the entire team was within six strokes of each other. In the Team competition, the Shamrocks finished in solo 3rd, six strokes ahead of Nazareth and trailing only Wheaton Academy and Wheaton St. Francis. In a normal (non-pandemic) year the top four teams would have qualified for Sectionals. To say that I’m proud of their effort is an understatement. I promised them 340 would give them a shot, and the team gave everything they had and came in at 346. Unfortunately, due to current IHSA rules, only two teams qualify from each Sectional, and four at-large players. In any other year we would be moving on to the Sectionals as a team.
Despite falling short as a team, the Shamrocks captured three of the four available at-large spots. Led by Emilio Bedon ’22 (85) and followed by Brendan Borner ’21 (86) and Colin Flynn ’21 (86), the Shamrocks dominated the at-large field. All three played great golf down the stretch and when it mattered most, hit some of the best shots of the day. The entire team was their at the end to celebrate, because even though these are at-large spots, it is still a total team effort. Emilio’s length and aggressiveness, Brendan’s unrelenting toughness, and Colin’s incredible will to succeed, were keys to their success today. When the going got tough, well, the Shamrocks got going today.
Some other notable moments in the day: Junior Mason Kim’s incredibly strong finish, including a crucial up-and-down on 18 for bogey to shoot 89 and ensure the 3rd place finish. Maybe the best (and saddest story of the day) was junior Aidan Nichol playing #1 and somehow forging on after a 14 on the second hole. In TRUE Shamrock style that showed character and dedication, Aidan fought back to go +8 the rest of the way, including a team best 39 on the back nine, that included 3 birdies. Finally, our fearless captain Jay Laboe hung tough on a day he didn’t have his best ‘stuff’, and played the last 5 holes +2 to finish strong. Way to go Jay!
The Shamrock golfers now move on to Sectionals next week. The time and location still TBD. A big thank you to the Shamrock parents that showed today and provided support. As always, they were amazingly positive and supportive. The team loves seeing them out in support. Lastly, congratulations to the entire squad of 16, because all that we went through together this season, helped us today. And while we are very proud and excited (and congratulate) Emilio, Brendan and Colin, we celebrate the accolades as a team.
Golf is a hard game. Even though we play it as a ‘team’ sport, it can be very lonely at times. It was an honor to watch these young men today. They never gave up, never lost faith in themselves or the team, and always battled through adversity. Win or lose, they showed the heart, and the grit, that exemplifies what it means to be a Shamrock.