GODFREY, Ill. – Warriors Golf Coach Lucas Cromeenes is wondering who will rise to the challenge as the team readies for its final fall tournament, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Hilton Garden Inn Invitational, Oct. 29, at Windance Country Club, in Gulfport, Miss.
Virtually lockstep with John A. Logan College at nearly every spot on the roster, the Rend Lake College Warriors golf team came up six strokes short and finished runner-up behind the Volunteers at this year’s Lewis and Clark Invitational, Oct. 14 and 15, at Lockhaven Country Club in Godfrey.
RLC’s Sam Penrice (Hastings, New Zealand) finished in a tie for second with a 149 (77-72) – one stroke behind medalist Steve Souchek (JALC, 73-75) and even with Tucker Guisewite (JALC, 78-71). Dayton Jones (Hopkinsville, Ky.) took fourth for RLC with a 151 (76-75); and Warrior freshman Travis Waninger (Chrisney, Ind.) put together a pair of 76s for a 152, tying Michael Mencaccy (JALC, 74-78) and John Stimac (L&C, 76-76) for fifth.
“This tournament went kind of like it’s gone our whole fall season,” said Cromeenes. “Our top three are playing well and we are looking for someone to fill that fourth spot. We would have won the last two tournaments if the fourth and fifth spots were up to par with our top three.”
In the fourth and fifth spots: Logan’s Thomas Simpson tied for 12th with a 161 (84-77), while Rend Lake’s Cody Drone (Altamont) and Patrick Heller (Campbell Hill) shot a 163 each (83-80 for Drone and 80-83 for Heller). That tied Brock Bolton (JALC, 79-84) for 15th.
RLC’s Dalton Shockley (Metropolis) finished 19th with a 164 (85-79).
Adding it all up: RLC scores used in the first round (309) included Penrice’s 77, Jones’ 76, Waninger’s 76 and Heller’s 80; versus Logan’s first round score (304), made up of Souchek’s 73, Guisewite’s 78, Mencaccy’s 74 and Simpson’s 84. RLC’s second-round 302 was comprised of Penrice’s 72, Jones’ 75, Waninger’s 76 and Shockley’s 79. JALC’s second-round 301 was made up of Souchek’s 75, Guisewite’s 71, Mencaccy’s 78 and Simpson’s 77.
Will Heller, Shockley or Drone step up into that fourth position or even break into the top three on the Warriors roster? Cromeenes wonders as his team heads into what he calls the biggest tournament for RLC this fall. The Hilton Garden Inn Invite will feature many of the teams playing in the national championships next spring.
“[Penrice, Jones and Waninger] will still play well this weekend and hopefully Cody, Pat, or Dalton will step up,” said Cromeenes. “If they do, there’s a chance for us to have a good tournament for sure.”