GRAYSLAKE — Noah Griffith patiently waited for the final golfers to turn in their scorecards during the IHSA Class 2A Sectional at Stonewall Orchard Golf Club on Tuesday, and the Rochelle senior hoped that his score would be enough to advance him to the state meet this weekend.
It’s safe to say his prayers were answered.
Griffith shot 84 to fall on the verge of elimination, but tough conditions meant high scores across the board, and after 84 was announced as the cutoff score, Griffith said he was excited and relieved that he would become the first Hub golfer to qualify for state since John Crystal in 2009.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s such a great feeling. I was pretty confident going into the tournament, and my putting was shaky at first but I got into a groove later on… I managed to par my last two holes to shoot 84 which was the deciding score, so I was really happy about that.”
Griffith was one of two Rochelle golfers competing in the sectional tournament, with senior Garrett Glosser shooting 89 to bow out of postseason contention. A boy and a girl have never qualified for state in the same season at Rochelle Township High School, but after freshman Megan Thiravong advanced out of the IHSA Class 1A Sectional in Byron on Monday, Griffith helped write a new chapter in the RTHS history book.
“It was really windy as it was in the regional, so I knew it was going to be pretty tough,” Griffith said. “I tried to play the wind, and the course was very different than the course in Mendota. The greens were a lot faster so I had to adjust to the speed, and it started raining over my last 4 or 5 holes so that was pretty tough.”
The IHSA Class 2A State Meet will begin on Friday, Oct. 13 at Illinois State University’s Weibring Golf Club in Normal, and the two-day, 36-hole competition will conclude on Saturday, Oct. 14. Griffith said he will play a practice round on Thursday before teeing off Friday morning.
The state tournament will be the last high school golf competition of Griffith’s career, and the senior is aiming to end his postseason streak with a low score. Griffith said he worked with local golfer and former Hub varsity player Thomas Brennan over the summer, and Brennan is one of many people Griffith said has made a huge different in his play this season.
“I’m just trying to have fun, do the best I can and give all glory to God,” Griffith said. “I can’t thank everybody who has supported me enough… I thank everybody who has supported me throughout my high school career and I’m just going to go out there and try to get something out of the experience.”