BY ROBERT BESKOW

Times Sports Editor

BLOOMINGTON — The 2018 CWC Bulldogs historic season came to an end Saturday with a fourth place finish at the IHSA Class 1A Golf Tournament at the Prairie Vista layout (6,432 yds. Par 72) on Saturday. Some circumstances beyond the team’s control prevented an even higher finish.

The tournament was scheduled to be a two-day, 36-hole event and CWC had mentally prepared all year for Friday’s opening round. Conditions were cold (temperatures in the 30’s) and rainy, but the Bulldogs were fighting through them better than any team as the day wore on. The Bulldogs had nearly completed their rounds and looked to be headed to the clubhouse with the lead or at worst within a shot or two. CWC freshman Oakley Gee was hovering at the top of the individual leaderboard and several other Bulldogs were poised to post strong scores. As the weather turned temporarily to snow, tournament officials decided to delay play. They eventually came to the decision to completely cancel the first round and turn the event into an 18-hole championship to be played on Saturday. All the Bulldogs hard work on the day went down the drain with that decision and several teams that would have started Day 2 several strokes behind the Bulldogs were brought back even.

The Bulldogs’ play on Saturday was more up and down, and again was affected by the decisions of tournament officials. Sophomore Ty Barbre had a spectacular round going and pulled out of trouble several times with some of the best shots of his career (including a rising 200-yard five iron from under a tree on his sixteenth hole right after he had reached the green on his fifteenth with a fade around a tree). Barbre posted a 75 with only one hole over a par, a triple bogey on #3 (his 12th as the Bulldogs started on the back 9). Barbre’s score was adjusted after the round by the Tournament Committee after he (and another player in his group) were incorrectly advised by on-site personnel on the proper relief on dropping or replaying shots from an area to the left on the third fairway. The Committee added five shots to Barbre’s score, giving him a 12 on the hole and knocking him out of a third place finish.

After the round Barbre was able to take the setback in stride.

“After I had struggled somewhat earlier in the year, all I wanted to do was come out and win the whole thing,” said Barbre.

“It turns out I wouldn’t have gotten first place, so I’ll just take this a learning experience.”

CWC freshman Oakley Gee, after his stellar but incomplete round on Friday, could never get his putter going and finished in 6th place on Saturday.

“I was a little bummed after Friday, I really had it going - but no excuses for today, I just couldn’t get any momentum going,” said Gee.

August Saunders and Kaden Carter posted the other two Bulldogs’ counting scores on Saturday. KaCee Fulkerson (who had a great round going on Friday) came in with a 93 and Alex O’Daniel rounded out CWC’s scoring with a 100.

Effingham St. Anthony (a team the Bulldogs had defeated earlier in the year) was able to take advantage of the restart to capture the team championship. The toughness of CWC’s run to State was borne out by the results. The three teams from Carmi’s Sectional at Effingham finished 1st, 3rd and 4th at State. The fourth place team at the Sectional (West Frankfort) would probably have finished in the Top 5 at State.

“No sorriness here, we absolutely battled and I’m proud of every one of them,” said CWC Coach Trey Mason.

“All our players stepped up at different times this season. Fourth place in State is a very respectable finish to the year. ”

Team scores: Effingham St. Anthony 318, Riverdale 324, Hillsboro 330, CWC 335, Sullivan 337, Newman Central Catholic 341, Sherrard 354, Rockridge 359, North Shore Country Day 359, Tremont 361, Tri-Valley 363, Beecher 372.

Individual:

Medalist : Marcus Smith (Winnebago) 71.

CWC Scores: Oakley Gee 78 (Tie 6th), Ty Barbre 80, August Saunders 87, Kaden Carter 90, KaCee Fulkerson, 93, Alex O’Daniel 100.