GIBSON CITY – Michael Peters' evolution as a golfer was on display when he played a round with his Champaign Central coach, Art Mayeda, two weeks ago.
Playing No. 9 at Lick Creek Golf Course in Pekin, Mayeda's drive on a straightforward par 4 came to rest about 100 yards from the green. Peters, Mayeda said, was 20 yards out.
"Last fall when we played," Mayeda said, "he was even with me."
But Mayeda tweaked Peters' swing, and the Central senior has taken off. In Tuesday's Class AA sectional at Railside Golf Club, Peters' 3-over 75 helped the Maroons grab the third and final qualifying spot for the Quincy Notre Dame Sectional.
"Michael Peters came through like a champion," Mayeda said.
"A few months ago he was just an ordinary, middle-of-the-road high school player. Now he's being recruited. He's just a totally different player now."
Only three players Tuesday could better Peters' 75. Two played for team champ Normal University High (298), including medalist Eric Meier with a 71.
Playing with a stiff breeze, players had to find a way to deal with the conditions. After a slow start, Peters did it, finishing with his only birdie on No. 18.
"It was a 20-yard wind when you're straight into it," he said. "I had to scrape out a 75."
It was important for his team, which shot 325 to nab third. Urbana (337) was fourth.
Another key for Central: No. 5 player Riley Brunson shot an 85 and No. 6 man Ben Peden had an 83.
"It worked out really well," Mayeda said. "We had a couple guys that had not come through all year but I decided to stay with them and they came through, which was awesome."
Centennial's Joe Smith (74) was third, leading the contingent of individual qualifiers, which included the top eight finishers (plus ties) who were not on qualifying teams.
Centennial's Bryan Wachtel (86), Mahomet-Seymour's Seth Trolia (86), Rantoul's Bryan Ideus (80) and Joey Wood (80) and Urbana's Eun-Won Kin (77) and Ben Thompson (83) advanced to Monday's sectional at Quincy's Westview Golf Course.