Bott earns top-10 state finish — again

Bott earns top-10 state finish — again

BLOOMINGTON — Andy Bott would have preferred to tee off later Saturday with the first-day leaders, but that was before a wicked wind kicked up at Prairie Vista Golf Course.

“We finished before the worst of the wind, so it was kind of an advantage going off early,” the Bismarck-Henning senior said following the final round of the Class 1A state tournament. “It was tough. A par 3 (hole) that played about 145 (yards), we had to play about 190. It was tough when it was blowing into your face.”

Bott took advantage of his timing, shooting a 75 to move from a tie for 14th place after the first round into a share of sixth on the final leaderboard. It was his third straight Top 10 finish at state.

“I definitely bounced back,” said Bott, who carded an opening-round 77. “I hit the ball a lot better today, and if a few more putts would have dropped — I had a lot of birdie opportunities the last five holes — it could have been lower.”

Chris Tate wasn’t as fortunate. The St. Thomas More junior entered Saturday with a 3-stroke lead after firing a career-best 68 in the first round, but he struggled on Day 2 in the increasing wind, shooting three double-bogeys in the final seven holes en route to an 84. That dropped Tate into a tie with Bott and two others at 152 — 7 strokes behind the medalist.

“Today played a lot tougher than yesterday,” Tate said. “The wind was more of a factor and it made the holes a lot longer.”

But Tate said the conditions were only one factor in his second-day performance.

“I was pretty excited about the first round, but I knew I couldn’t get too high on that,” he said. “I don’t think I handled it that great. I didn’t seem I was as focused as I was (Friday).

“But I can’t be too disappointed. I played well overall, but I would have liked to shoot a lot better today.”

St. Thomas More placed seventh in the 12-team field, while Bismarck-Henning finished 10th.

In the Class 2A tournament at Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Champaign Central’s Riley Thompson tied for 38th out of 110 entrants. The Maroons senior shot a second-round 80 for a 162 total.

In girls’ golf:

LaFoe, Trolia notch top-20 finishes.
Salt Fork senior Courtney LaFoe shot a second-round 77 to finish 13th in the Class 1A tournament at Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur. Her 162 total was 21 strokes behind the medalist.

Emily Trolia carded an 85 to tie for 16th and lead Mahomet-Seymour to seventh place. The Bulldogs junior finished with a 165.

Evelyn Brand was the low scorer for 11th-place Monticello with a 183, tying for 50th. Kendyl McFarland shot the Sages’ best score in the second round, a 94, to finish at 186 and tie for 59th.