Golf: Seniors lead Rochelle in Sterling Invitational

Thiravong, Kirk record top-16 finishes at Emerald Hill


STERLING — Emerald Hill hosted the Rochelle Township High School golf team’s final tournament of the regular season on Saturday. It won’t be the last time the Hubs see the course, with the boys scheduled to return in less than two weeks for the IHSA 2A Sterling Regional.

Seniors Megan Thiravong and Reese Kirk each recorded top-16 finishes in the 49th Annual Sterling Invitational, with Thiravong (87) placing 14th and Kirk (88) taking 16th, respectively. Sophomore Griffin Ohlinger carded 92 for Rochelle, while junior Brett Ferguson and sophomore Damen Harrington rounded out the top five varsity players with 96 and 100, respectively.

“There was a lot of wind and the greens were really fast,” head coach Glen Mehrings said. “I thought Megan and Reese negotiated the greens well and they never got too far ahead of themselves. They took their rounds one hole at a time and they fought back all day long. It was a tough day for a lot of players and the scores were much higher than usual.”

The IHSA 2A Sterling Regional will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Under the revised IHSA State Series model, only the top two teams and the top four individuals from non-qualifying teams will earn spots in the IHSA 2A Sectionals, which are to be determined. Rochelle will be looking to send its first boy to the sectional round since Noah Griffith and Garrett Glosser in 2017. 

“With the elements the kids faced and how slick the greens were, we were lucky to break 90,” head coach Glen Mehrings said. “The scores were high across the board. I thought it was a good experience for the boys because they don’t see that course regularly, but I think scores in the low 90s or upper 80s could be good enough to get the boys through to the sectional.”