Fore The First Time In Forever

First Parker Golfer to make state tournament in a decade

Henry Weil Swings at Turtle Run Golf Club

Photo credit: Reid Albert

Henry Weil Swings at Turtle Run Golf Club

On Monday, October 3, three of Parker’s sectionals-qualifying golfers competed at Turtle Run Golf Club in Danville, Illinois, for the opportunity to qualify for state. Senior Henry Weil, Senior Reid Albert, and Junior Deven Gupta left at sunrise on Sunday morning and after hours of driving through cornfields until they finally reached their destination at the golf course. 

They played a practice round to get a feel for the course, especially the firm greens, rolling very fast that morning. After the successful practice round, the three golfers drove half an hour west to Champaign, where they checked into their hotel.

The three golfers knew what they needed to do to qualify for state. There were twelve teams in total going into the tournament and 30 individuals who weren’t on a team that qualified. The top three teams out of that 12 move on, including the top 10 individuals that aren’t on one of the three qualifying teams. 

The three golfers were given the last tee times out of the whole field of teams. “We heard that the golfers that teed off already were struggling a lot with the greens,” Weil said. The tournament organizers made the course as difficult as possible for the high school tournament, forcing the golfers to be strategic and focused throughout the whole round.

When Weil started his round, the temperature outside was perfect, but the pace of play was very slow. Every single golfer in the tournament was taking their time on every shot, making the wait at the tee box for the first few holes up to 10 minutes. Many family members came to watch the tournament, adding to the pressure. 

“The pace of play started to pick up after a few holes,” Weil said, “and I was able to focus.” Henry shot a 39 on the front nine, which meant that he was on a good pace to finish with a competitive score.

On the back nine, the pressure started to hit Weil. “Since I was the last group to finish, I knew that these next holes were going to matter when it came to the final scores,” Weil said, “The pressure was starting to hit when I knew that I had a good shot at qualifying.” Henry finished with a par on the last hole, making his final score an 81.

He walked over to the scoring table to attest to his score and the scores of the golfers in his group. Over 100 golfers and coaches crowded around the scoreboard, waiting to hear the results. After minutes and minutes of waiting, the head pro at Turtle Run Golf Club announced the top 10 individual qualifiers, with Henry clinching the tenth spot! “It’s truly surreal,” Weil said, “It’s so cool that I get the opportunity to go to state.” 

The state tournament will be played at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington, Illinois, on Friday and Saturday. There is a cut in place after the Friday round, where only the top half of the golfers move on to the Saturday round.