Golf: Hubs finish fifth at Rocket Invitational

Thiravong, Kirk each card 88 for Rochelle varsity team


ROCK FALLS — Consistent scores across the board were the keys to success for the Rochelle Township High School golf team when the Hubs battled several local programs in the annual Rocket Invitational at Rock River Golf & Pool this past Saturday.

Small greens and some rough lies made playing conditions tough on Saturday, but Rochelle managed to finish in fifth place overall with a final score of 362. Seniors Megan Thiravong and Reese Kirk led the charge for the Hubs, with each player carding 88 in the 18-hole tournament.

“The course wasn’t too bad overall,” head coach Glen Mehrings said. “On that course, when we don’t get the ball close to the pin on our approach shots, it’s tough to make birdies. There are trees everywhere, so we have to keep the ball in play, and if we have any wayward shots, we have to make smart punch shots so we don’t take on any extra strokes… Megan and Reese both struck the ball well, and Reese improved on his score from last year quite a bit.”

Sophomore Griffin Ohlinger recorded 91 for the Hubs, while sophomore Damen Harrington stepped up as Rochelle’s No. 4 varsity player with 95. Newman Central Catholic won the tournament with 328 and 77 was the winning individual score.

“Damen’s a great student of the game,” Mehrings said. “He listens really well and he’s made some strong improvements over the last few weeks to become a more consistent ball striker. His short game is starting to come around, and he’s working through some transitions in his swing that will be much better for him. He’s trying really hard in practice and he always maintains a positive mental outlook on the game. He never quits or gets down on himself.”