LAKEWOOD – Despite being the youngest golfer in the Illinois Junior Golf Association’s RedTail Regional on Friday, Algonquin’s Garrett Tighe played like one of the tournament's most experienced.
Tighe, 13, won the junior boys division championship by four strokes, carding a 3-over-par 75 to net his first IJGA victory of the summer. Tighe’s 75 was bettered by only 10 golfers – all of whom played in the senior boys division.
Tighe settled down after bogeying the course’s first hole and parred 13 of the remaining 17 holes, recording a 37 on the front nine and a 38 on the back. He also birdied the 535-yard par-5 fifth, the longest hole on the course.
“I made bogey to start, but I just kept my mind in it and kept trying to make par after that,” said Tighe, an eighth-grader at Westfield Community School in Algonquin. “My irons were really good today. I chipped in two today, and my putting was pretty good, too. I had a couple of slices, but my drives were mostly in the fairway.”
With the win, Tighe moved into 42nd place in the IJGA Junior Boys Player of the Year standings, with 2,146 points. More than 380 players have competed in at least one event.
Tighe has played in seven IJGA events this summer and has collected three top-10 finishes. He also won the junior division in the McHenry County Junior Golf Association’s Marengo Ridge Open on July 2 with a round of 76.
Crystal Lake’s Cameron Karney finished second Friday and was four strokes behind Tighe with a 79. Karney, who will be a freshman at Prairie Ridge, tied Tighe with a 37 on the front nine before running into trouble on the final three holes.
“I had a 37 and everything was working for me,” Karney said. “On the back nine, I started to struggle with my putting and three-putted the last three. All in all, I was the swinging the club great and had a good day. I just had a bad finish.”
Also in the junior boys division, Crystal Lake’s Zachary Tuszynski (82) placed fifth, and Algonquin’s Jarod Gray shot a 90 to finish 13th.
Buffalo Grove’s Jason Gohde, who entered the tournament with a commanding lead in the IJGA Senior Boys Player of the Year standings, shot a tournament-best 6-under 66. The Stevenson High School senior won by six strokes over Hampshire’s Christopher Boyle (72) and Roscoe’s Reid Anderson (72).
“The distances aren’t too long for me as opposed to the other tournaments,” said Gohde, who birdied five of his final 10 holes. “The strength of my game is kind of shorter – my irons and wedges. That’s kind of where I score well and focus my attention.”
Three local golfers shot 73 and finished in a tie for fourth in the senior boys division, including Cary’s Daniel DePrey, who won the Billy Vahldieck McHenry County Junior Amateur on Thursday, Lake in the Hills’ Gage Jereb and Algonquin’s Joseph Addante. West Dundee’s Gabriel Askam (74) and Crystal Lake’s Benjamin Harvel (74) tied for ninth.
In the senior girls division, Schaumburg’s Haezi Jung won with a 5-over 77, while Cary’s Larisa Luloff (79) took third. Other local golfers included Algonquin’s Gillian Young (88), Lake in the Hills’ Bailey Bostler (89), Crystal Lake’s Brooke Johnson (91) and Cary’s Lauren Kalamaras (98).