Golf: Libertyville grad Alex Quenan plays to the wire at Junior Amateur
Updated: August 20, 2012 10:55AM
LIBERTYVILLE — Libertyville High School graduate Alex Quenan found himself in an unfamiliar position heading into last week’s IJGA-CDGA Junior Amateur at Mill Creek in Geneva.
Quenan won the event last summer, meaning that for the first time in his golf career he was returning to a three-day event as the defending champion. And though Quenan was unable to repeat, he couldn’t have gotten much closer.
After 54 holes, he wound up in a four-man playoff for the title. St. Viator junior Robert Renner nabbed the crown with a birdie on the second playoff hole, but the Illinois Wesleyan-bound Quenan was pleased with his play overall.
“This is the first time I’ve come to a big tournament as the defending champ, so I didn’t really know how to react,” Quenan said. “It didn’t feel that much different from any tournament I’ve played. The course is in good shape. I think the scores reflect how the course was playing. I was happy with how I played.”
Quenan was steady throughout the week, shooting a 2-over 217 (72-73-72) over the three days. He found success on nos. 4, 11 and 16, twice collecting birdies on each hole.
In the final round, Quenan recovered from a double bogey on No. 12 with six straight pars to reach the playoff. He said that the course reminds him of the Wildcats’ home course, Village Green.
“That helps, having a home course that’s sort of like this,” Quenan said. “I putted pretty well (the final day), made a few big par saves on the back nine that kept my score down. Other than that, I was pretty consistent on the fairways and greens.”
Vernon Hills senior Eric Swanson was tied for the lead after Day 1, shooting a 1-under 70. He followed that with a 75, which allowed him to make the cut, but he struggled to a 78 on the final day.
“I was hoping I could somehow go low and make the top five, but I just couldn’t do it,” Swanson said. “My irons weren’t going as straight as I would like. My putter wasn’t making all the birdies I wanted. I had no birdies on the front and two bad holes (consecutive double bogeys on nos. 5 and 6) that put me in a bad position.”
The two-sport star will play in the Chick Evans Junior Amateur Championship, at Itasca Country Club, next week, and will bowl in the USBC Junior Gold Championships, in Indianapolis, before getting ready for the high school golf season.
Fine finish: In the girls end of the tournament, Lake Forest Academy sophomore Katie Kim wound up placing third out of 34 golfers with a two-day total of 150, three strokes behind champion Bing Singhsumalee of Waubonsie Valley.
Schaumburg’s Angie Kim was second with a 149. Katie Kim backed up her 73 in the first round with a 77.
“My first day, I felt a lot better about my round,” Kim said. “The second day was iffy.”
Stevenson graduate Claire Lavezzorio was sixth with a two-day total of 157.