STERLING – Nick Ceruzzi was nearly buying sodas for the house.
Instead, the Sterling senior got a horrible break, but was still able to earn medalist honors at a triangular match held Wednesday at Emerald Hill. Ceruzzi toured his home course in even-par 36 to lead the Golden Warriors (159) past local rivals Rock Falls (184) and Dixon (195).
“I hit a lot of fairways and greens – six fairways and seven greens – and didn’t have any 3-putts,” Ceruzzi said. “It was just an overall consistent round.”
Ceruzzi had two birdies in his round. He hit a wedge to 3 feet and tapped in for birdie on No. 3. On No. 7, after a 310-yard drive, he hit 4-iron to just short of the green, then got up and down for another birdie.
The bogeys came on No. 2 and, surprisingly, No. 4, a 190-yard par-3. Ceruzzi hit a 4-iron that covered the flag, only to one-hop off the flagstick and bounce back some 20 yards back down the fairway. He failed to get up and down from there – adding a further sting to a shot that had the potential to be his first-ever hole-in-one.
“It looked really good, and I knew it was going to be close,” Ceruzzi said. “If it hadn’t hit the pin, it was probably going to be a tap-in.”
Sterling was consistent as could be after Ceruzzi, as Nate Olson, Jake Alston and Luke Steinke each had 41. Charles Lehman (49) and Joe Sivits (55) rounded out the six-man lineup.
The four counting scores from Rock Falls were posted by Kody Velazquez (42), Grant Wasson (43), Carter O’Brien (49) and Tyler Fauble (50). Not counting toward the team total were Jalen Bickett (53) and Brayden Schulz (54).
Leading the way for Dixon was Lukas Wedekind, who carded a 42. He was pleased with everything about his round except two shots – a hooked 3-wood tee shot on No. 1 that went in the trees and led to double bogey, and a hooked 3-wood that went out of bounds on No. 7, also leading to a double.
“It was mostly just two 3-wood shots that cost my round today,” Wedekind said. “I wouldn’t say anything else was too bad. I was dropping a lot of putts and hitting greens, so I was happy about that.”
Nolan Halla finished with 45 for the Dukes, while Connor Beauchem and Ethan Sherman each had 54s. Ryan Lawton (55) and Michael Ludens (58) rounded out the lineup.