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Local

Ian Roach wins second regional championship

Putnam County senior shoots a 75

Putnam County senior Ian Roach putts on Hole No. 9 during the Class 1A St. Bede Regional Oct. 7 at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley. Roach shot a 75 to win his second straight regional championship. All of the Panthers advanced to state as PC finished second with a 356. St. Bede also qualified for sectional as the Bruins placed third with a 359.
Putnam County senior Ian Roach putts on Hole No. 9 during the Class 1A St. Bede Regional Oct. 7 at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley. Roach shot a 75 to win his second straight regional championship. All of the Panthers advanced to state as PC finished second with a 356. St. Bede also qualified for sectional as the Bruins placed third with a 359.

The boys golf Class 1A St. Bede regional was all about the streaks that continued and one that ended Oct. 7 at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley.

Three Rivers Conference champ Riverdale (318) won its fifth straight regional championship by a 38-stroke margin of victory over runner-up Putnam County (356).

Putnam County senior Ian Roach qualified for sectionals for the fourth straight time, claiming his second regional championship in two years.

For St. Bede, it was all about a streak that ended as the Bruins (359) placed third to advance for the first time since 2014.

They were to be joined at the Class 1A Freeport sectional Oct. 14 by sophomores Bryson Smith of Bureau Valley and Rivers Jordan from Hall, who both qualified for the first time.

Roach shot a 75, beating out three Riverdale golfers for medalist honors — Ryan Bussert (78), James Moorhusen (79) and Sam Williams (80).

He shot a 31 on the front, but was hampered by four “blow-up holes” on the back nine, shooting a 44.

“I’ve been to sectionals all four years now. With some good play on the front nine, I should be able to take some momentum to sectional,” Roach said. “Hopefully get a first-place medal there.”

PC coach Chelsi Niewinski was happy with Roach’s game as well.

“Ian’s goal is always to contend in every tournament he plays in. Today he made it three out of four for the season in which he was medalist which is a great personal accomplishment for him,” Niewinski said. “His 31 on the front 9 was some of the best golf I have seen him play.”

Roach is glad he isn’t going to the sectional alone.

“We’re moving on to sectionals as a team, which is all we wanted to do. So I’m proud of them,” Roach said.

Niewinski was able to put a checkmark on the Panthers’ season goal list.

“We had making it out of regionals as a team set as a goal since the beginning of the season, so we’re really proud to have accomplished that goal,” Niewinski said. “We had an awesome front nine, but struggled quite a bit on the back nine, so that made it a little bittersweet. But we are on to sectionals which is the important part, so I am very proud of the boys. We are hoping to come out and post a nice score at sectionals.”

It marked the third time in four years the Rams beat out the Panthers for regional honors.

St. Bede has had some close calls in recent years, losing out on a tiebreaker in 2013, and by one point the year before that.

“It’s been a while since we broke through, so it’s really nice it happened,” St. Bede coach Rich Cummings said. “It’s an accomplishment because we’ve worked hard through the summer and the year.”

The Bruins had the advantage of playing at home, especially for junior Nathan Potthoff, whose family owns Spring Creek.

Unlike their close calls of years past, the Bruins made it out comfortably, beating both Newark and Erie-Prophetstown by 17 strokes. Also scoring for the Bruins were junior Owen Espel (90), freshman Brendan Pillion (92) and sophomore Logan Humpage (97).

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