ROSCOE — Freeport senior Deven Stewart tied for sixth in Thursday’s season-opening Boylan Invitational at Ledges Golf Course, but the rest of the young Pretzels struggled mightily.
Stewart, who tied for 12th in Class 2A last year, one shot out of a state medal, hoped to shoot better than his 77.
“The last week and a half, I haven’t been hitting my irons very well,” Stewart said. “I went to the range last night and felt comfortable, but couldn’t hit them again today. I figured it out a little bit. The last four holes, I hit every green.
“I am not too worried about it. I practice enough and know my own swing. I should be fine.”
The Pretzels will next play in what Stewart described as “laid-back events” in Jefferson’s two-man best-ball event Saturday and the Belvidere North Invitational on Monday.
“I will use those as confidence boosters,” Stewart said. “I am going to be super laid back. I will work on my things and if I don’t shoot well, it’s not the end of the world.”
Freeport, which graduated nine seniors off last year’s NIC-10 runner-up team, brought only four players to Ledges. That meant the Pretzels had to count every score, while other teams could throw away their two worst rounds. Freeport shot 443 as a team. Eithan Eilders shot 87, but Keaton Clark and Andrew Fosler were well over 100.
“The guys were playing their first varsity matches ever,” coach Matt Gallie said. “They weren’t intimidated and seemed comfortable out there in what was a brand new experience for them.”
Matt Trowbridge: 815-987-1383; firstname.lastname@example.org; @matttrowbridge