Boys Golf: Batavia-Geneva team runs away with McChesney Cup title over St. Charles programs
Singles play the difference in season-opening tournament
By Kevin McGavin
GENEVA – For elite high school golfers the equivalent of baseball spring training is far from necessary.
“I think I had one week off: otherwise, I think I played (competitively) every week,” said Batavia senior Gavin Newkirk, who qualified for the Class 3A boys golf state tournament, on his summer regimen. “It’s definitely an advantage over the (other fall sports).”
“I played in a lot of summer tournaments,” said Austin Frick, a Geneva senior who also made the largest-class cut last October in Bloomington. “All the top names in (Illinois) high school were there. You recognize a lot of the names.”
Monday at the Geneva Country Club, the traditional McChesney Cup — a Ryder Cup-style match-play tournament between the four Tri-Cities high schools — inaugurated a new prep season.
Batavia and Geneva held a slender lead on the two St. Charles programs after the completion of the morning four-ball and foursomes — more commonly referred to as best ball and alternate shot.
But the Bulldogs’ and Vikings’ eight-man squads swamped their St. Charles counterparts in singles play, capturing 86.5 out of a possible 144 points to post a convincing 160.5-127.5 victory in the 27-hole competition.
St. Charles earned its only victory when East senior Gavin Hunt prevailed 6-3 against the Bulldogs’ Tanner Gawlik.
“In the singles match, I was really confident with my driver,” said Hunt, who halved his two partner competitions. “My mindset was a lot better, and I felt like I was more in the game.”
But Frick and Newkirk initiated the Batavia-Geneva hegemony with a 5-4 and 6-3 win, respectively, in the showdown between the four schools’ top-ranked players.
“We have a solid group of guys (between the two programs) who did a great job today,” Newkirk said. “Par was a good score.”
Each hole was worth one point each in the 16 individual matches.
“I started playing well three weeks ago and I am peaking at the right time for the high school season,” Frick said.