NORMAL – Joe Smith's final round of high school golf was bittersweet.
"Not many people can say they were a four-time all-stater," the Centennial senior said Saturday after finishing third in the IHSA Class 2A state tournament at Illinois State's Weibring Golf Club. "But I really wanted to win. I left a lot of shots out there. I'm kind of disappointed, but looking back at my career, it's pretty amazing what I've done in four years."
Smith (142), who entered the day in a three-way tie for second, shot a 1-over 72. He finished 1 stroke behind runner-up Eric Meier of Normal U-High and 5 behind three-time state champion and Illini recruiting commitment Mason Jacobs of Massac County.
In four state trips, Smith never finished lower than seventh and twice placed as high as third.
The Chargers standout said his quest to finish higher was foiled by erratic putting. Smith finished Saturday's round with five bogeys and four birdies.
"I struck the ball really well, but I didn't get any putts to fall. I missed some really easy putts. If I had putted like I did (Friday), I could have been in the 60s for sure."
Rantoul junior Bryan Ideus (156) tied for 24th after finishing with an 80. Freshman Seth Trolia of Mahomet-Seymour tied for 27th after shooting a 78. He finished at 157.