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Daniel DePrey wins McHenry County Junior Am with eagle in playoff

Recent Cary-Grove graduate Daniel DePrey tees off during the MCJGA Billy Vahldieck McHenry County Junior Amateur on Thursday at Boone Creek in Bull Valley. DePrey won the senior boys division in a playoff.
Recent Cary-Grove graduate Daniel DePrey tees off during the MCJGA Billy Vahldieck McHenry County Junior Amateur on Thursday at Boone Creek in Bull Valley. DePrey won the senior boys division in a playoff.

BULL VALLEY – Daniel DePrey knew he put himself in good position to win the boys senior division at the Billy Vahldieck McHenry County Junior Amateur after finishing one shot off the lead heading into Thursday's second and final round at Boone Creek.

DePrey got his title, but it took a dramatic finish.

After shooting 1-over-par 72 on Thursday, DePrey, a recent Cary-Grove graduate, finished tied for the lead with Glenn Miller, who shot a tournament-best 70. The two went to a playoff to determine the winner, and when DePrey saw Miller put himself in a tough situation with a poor approach shot on the short par-4 first hole, it gave DePrey confidence as he stood over his pitch shot from about 50 feet off the green.

"It's essentially like match play on a playoff hole," DePrey said. "I saw [Miller] didn't hit a good chip on his first one, so I knew I just needed to put one close."

He did more than that. DePrey holed out for an eagle, clinching the win.

"I did everything I could today," said Miller, who started three shots off the lead heading into Thursday. "I knew I needed a round like a 70 to give myself a chance, but it just wasn't in the cards."

Tyler Ross of Huntley finished four shots behind DePrey and Miller for third place, and first-round leader Mitchell Whitehouse tied Brad Spoeth for fourth, six strokes off the lead.

In the boys junior division, it seemed to be a two-player race heading into Thursday. Grant Fisher of Johnsburg, who started the day one shot off the lead, finished at 8-over 150 for the tournament, a shot ahead of Prairie Ridge's Stephen Nalepa and Myles Miller to win. Miller started seven shots back, but an even-par 71 Thursday moved him into second place, with Nalepa finishing third.

"I liked the position I had coming into today," Fisher said. "I don't like the pressure of holding a lead, so I like just hanging around and making my move toward the end, and I was able to do that today."

Fisher, who earned 200 points for the win, moves into first place in the McHenry County Junior Golf Association boys junior division standings.

Both the girls junior and senior division leaders after Wednesday held form and kept their leads Thursday.

Kenzie Mocogni of Marian Central had a one-shot lead heading into Thursday's round. Gillian Young, Brooke Johnson and Emily Fox were tied for second. Mocogni knew there was pressure to shoot well, and although she held off her opponents and won the senior division, she admitted to feeling the pressure.

"It was definitely way more nerve-racking than yesterday," Mocogni said. "I played with the same girls yesterday, and they added up my score before I did. I just wanted to finish strong, and it's a big relief now that it's over and I held on."

Mocogni finished at 11-over 82 for 18 holes and defeated Young by one stroke and Johnson by two. Mocogni and DePrey both received 200 points in their first event played this season.

In the girls junior division, McHenry's Maddie Ogden cruised to a five-stroke victory over her sister, Hannah, and Lauryn Davis. Maddie Ogden came in with a four-shot lead, and finished with an 88. Maddie Ogden increased her points lead over Hannah Ogden to 345.

"I was really nervous coming into today," Maddie Ogden said. "Even though I had a few shots of a lead, you never know how it could turn out. I'm really happy I was able to shoot well enough to win."

The tournament is named after Billy Vahldieck, a former member of the MCJGA who died in 2009.

The next MCJGA event is the Cary Open on July 25.

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