Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

October 9, 2012

Bulldogs win sectional in walkover

EFFINGHAM — It was another sectional tournament with another strong performance for the St. Anthony golf team at Crab Orchard Golf Course in Carterville on Monday.

Worried that they might not advance at the beginning of the day, the Bulldogs shot a 309 to run away the tournament title by 14 strokes.

Nashville finished second with a 323 team score.

Senior Joe Powell led the way for St. Anthony, carding an even-par 70 to take home medalist honors. Sophomore Garrett Hixenbaugh shot a 74 to finish tied for third place.

“I thought I played pretty good,” Powell said. “I struck the ball pretty well today.”

St. Anthony coach Phil Zaccari agreed, saying the effort from his two team leaders was outstanding.

“They stepped up today,” he said. “You can’t say enough about Joe and Garrett. Their rounds were amazing today.”

Conner Greene (82), Jack Niebrugge (83), Dalton Anderson (84) and Cole Buehnerkemper (85) rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs.

St. Anthony will be heading back to the state tournament, at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington on Friday and Saturday.

Going as a team, instead of as a couple individuals, was important for Powell and the Bulldogs.

“That was our goal from the start of the year,” Powell said. “It definitely means a lot. It makes it better because you think you have more of a chance to advance as a team.”

“We always talk about the team more than the individual,” Zaccari said. “We’ll see if we can do better than last year.”

Last year, the Bulldogs finished sixth at state, something Zaccari thinks his team can improve upon with a little bit of putting practice.

“It’s always been the putting,” he said. “We will be doing a lot of putting this week. Putting is what is going to bring us through.”

Though Powell was pleased with his medalist performance, he said there are some things he needs to improve before Friday if he wants to improve at state.

“Definitely the short game,” he said. “And I’m going to work on my irons a little bit.”

Powell added that it was extra sweet to win sectionals this year, after losing out on medalist honors via a playoff last year.

“Last year I tied for medalist and lost the playoff, so I got second,” he said. “(Winning) was definitely the goal this year.”

“Joe was solid,” Zaccari said. “Where a lot of these pins were placed and some of these putts they had to make, that’s a wonderful round.”

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