Boys Golf: Cody Ganzon, Ryan Milton lead Kaneland to record regional round

Regional champ Knights, Marmion advance to sectionals

ELBURN – Cody Ganzon likes to spend time at the range before playing, so the Kaneland junior wasn’t happy that he didn’t have the opportunity to do so before Tuesday’s Class 2A Kaneland Regional at Hughes Creek Golf Club in Elburn.

While a double bogey on the first hole could’ve been the beginning of a forgettable round, Ganzon heated up after his slow start. He closed with an eagle on No. 18 to share medalist honors with senior teammate Ryan Milton as both shot a 1-over-par 73 to lead the Knights to the regional title.

“Duffs his drive off the tee 50 yards and hit his next one into the hazard so you’re thinking, ‘He’s going to fall back a little bit and he did,’” Knights coach Mark Meyer said. “And he played steady from there on out and he eagled the last hole to put an exclamation point on the round.”

After a 315-yard drive followed by an approach shot that he stuck 12 feet from the hole, Ganzon drained the eagle putt; a great finish to a round that began so ominously.

“We can hold our own for sure,” Ganzon said. “It was different not hitting the range before but I stayed calm and my swing started to come around.”

Milton had a 36 on the front and a 37 on the back, hanging around par from start to finish.

Kaneland finished with a 300, a program record score for a regional.

Josh Pehl finished third overall with a 75 for the Knights while Hagan Rank gave the team its fourth score with a 79 to tie for sixth place.

“All four top scores in the 70s, which is always fantastic,” Meyer said. “Anytime you can get four scores in the 70s, that’s telling you (that) you have a nice, deep team.”

As a coach, Meyer is blessed with at least five golfers that can win medalist honors on any given day. That doesn’t mean he knows what his kids are going to turn in each time on the links though.

“You really never know,”he said. “Sometimes you get a feeling early on with some players if they’re really in a groove but it’s hard to tell. There’s ups and downs in every round of golf.”

Marmion finished second with a 325 and will join Kaneland at the Class 2A Freeport Sectional on Oct. 12 at Park Hills Golf Course. There will not be a state competition following the sectional.

Aaron Munson led the Cadets with a 79 while Charlie Burke and Anthony Sleezer each fired an 81 and Barry O’Neill and Ethan Czerwinski each carded an 84.

Morris tied Aurora Central Catholic for third with a 342 while Burlington Central was fifth with a 344.

Fresh off winning the Cavalier Invite on Saturday, Matt Lawton took fourth place with a 76 to pace the Redskins and will represent the Redskins in the individual competition.

“It went well and the wind wasn’t too big of a problem for me until the back nine,” Lawton said. “I think having a good front nine (even) is what helped me on the back just being able to play conservative.”

Teammate Eric Peterson carded an 81 for the Redskins and also advanced.

Acknowledging that the regional had more of a sectional feel to it, Burlington Central’s Tyson Malak shrugged off a sluggish start, shooting even par on the back nine.

“I started out a little rough with bogey, bogey and then I made a great up-down on the third hole,” Malak said. “The turning point was getting a nice punch-out on the seventh hole. My putting was off. I was leaving everything short, but my ball striking was very good today.”

Sycamore’s Sam Faulhaber saved his season by first saving a double bogey on No. 15 and then making par on the final three holes. It began with a prayer and ended with him finishing with a team-best 81.

“I honestly said a prayer on that hole after my second shot went out of bounds,” Faulhaber said. “I just hit a clutch shot just on the fringe and made the clutch putt. I had the line all the way and just stayed positive, I guess.”

The Spartans finished with a 351 to place sixth while Sandwich edged Plano, 366-368 to place seventh.

“With football being canceled this was a nice little getaway to go out and do something with your buddies,” Sandwich senior Jacob Heilemeier said. “I’ve been shooting about this (score) for the whole second half of the season so I’m pretty happy with a 90.”

Similarly, junior Mason Accidentale, led the Reapers with an 83, just missing the cut.

“I felt good, but it was a long day and I definitely got tired,” Accidentale said. “It’s been a fun team. We’re pretty good and it’s just fun to play with them because they’ve never really played golf before so to see them out here having fun is good.”