Golf: Metzger medals in third at ACC Charger Invitational

Sophomore Ian Metzger fired an 18-hole round of 72 to take third overall at the Aurora Central Catholic Charger Invitational on Saturday afternoon. (Courtesy photo)

Rochelle sophomore fires 1-over-par 72 on Saturday

AURORA — Sophomore standout Ian Metzger feels that he’s rounding into form as the Rochelle Hub varsity golf team continues its push through the second half of the 2023 season. 

Metzger was accurate from the tee box on Saturday, when the Hubs competed in the annual ACC Charger Invitational at Phillips Park Golf Course. The sophomore went 14-for-16 on fairways in regulation and took advantage of his strong wedge play, shooting a 1-over-par 72 to medal in third place at the tournament. Metzger carded five birdies during his 18-hole round.

“I haven’t played very well over my last few events, so it was nice to have a good score going into a few of our bigger events including the conference meet and regionals,” Metzger said. “I’m trying to qualify for state this season and shooting a good score definitely feels good… I didn’t miss many fairways and when I did miss, I left myself in a good spot and gave myself a lot of close wedges into the hole. My wedge game was on and I gave myself a lot of close putts.”

Metzger led the Hubs (1-9, 0-4 Interstate 8) to a 12th-place performance as a team, with Rochelle firing 360 to tie with Aurora Central Catholic while outpacing Westmont and IMSA. Freshman Alex Dyer followed with an 18-hole round of 89 for the Hubs, while senior Chandler Cunningham scored a 98 and freshman Owen Carmichael notched a 101. For Metzger, course management was another factor that played into his successful third-place round on Saturday.

“It was a pretty tight course, but I left myself in great spots and I didn’t give myself any bad positions where I had to lose shots,” Metzger said. “I’ve been losing shots at our home course recently because I’ve had to punch out on a few holes and I’ve wound up shooting in the 40s. I didn’t let the course control me and I thought I played a really smart round of golf on Saturday.”

Senior Owen Messer added a 104 and junior Chris Hickey recorded a 127 to round out the varsity lineup for the Hubs on Saturday. After not meeting his expectations score wise over his last few rounds, Metzger said his 1-over-par 72 is a significant step in the right direction.

“I think I’ve had a few good events, but I think I could’ve shot some lower scores after starting the season off with a 36,” Metzger said. “I’m hoping to keep building on that 72.”