Tom Petty once said that the waiting is the hardest part and chances are that Litchfield’s Tug Schwab knows what he is talking about. After a fantastic sophomore season, Schwab will have to wait a full year to have another chance to make his IHSA State Finals Golf Tournament debut as the Litchfield High School sophomore just missed a qualifying spot at the Class 1A McLeansboro Sectional on Monday, Oct. 4.
Schwab had been lights out throughout the season and put up a fantastic 79 on Monday at Green Hills Golf Club in Mt. Vernon. Unfortunately, 16 other golfers also broke 80, including Marissa’s Caleb Trieb and Nashville’s Aaron Brink, who tied Schwab for the 10th and final state qualifying spot.
That meant the trio had to go back out on the course for a playoff, which Trieb won to punch his ticket to state in his senior season.
Still, the tough end did nothing to take the shine off Schwab’s play on Monday and throughout the year. He’d shoot a 39 on the front nine at Green Hills, posting three pars and a birdie on his first nine holes. On the back nine, Schwab was just as good, with six pars, two bogies and a double bogey to end the day at 8-over-par.
A 79 would have punched Schwab’s ticket to state in any of the other three sectionals, but with a loaded field at McLeansboro, the sophomore will have to wait one more year.
That year has potential to be a special one for not only Schwab, but for Litchfield golf as well. The Panthers graduated just three seniors from this year’s team that finished 24-5 on the season. All six players who competed in the regional at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course were underclassmen and the Panthers’ narrow fourth place finish could mean that a sectional berth as a team might be on the horizon in 2022.
October 4 at Mt. Vernon
Green Hills Golf Club - Par 71
Boys Team Results: 1. Oblong 320*; 2. St. Anthony 321*; 3. Vandalia 321*; 4. Anna-Jonesboro 328; 5. Hillsboro 337; 6. Altamon 338; 7. Steeleville 340; 8. Father McGivney 343; 9. Gibault 343; 10. Okawville 344; 11. Marquette 349; 12. West Frankfort 352; 13. Nashville 354.
*State Qualifying Team
**Hillsboro did not qualify as a team, but qualified four players as individuals.
Medalist: Chase Laack, Sr. (Vandalia) 72.
Individual Qualifiers: A.J. Johnson (Goreville) 73; Luke Lasley (Anna-Jonesboro) 74; Parker Boehne (CORL) 76; Ben Herron (West Frankfort) 77; Kevin Hall (Altamont) 77; Tyler Stonecipher (Altamont) 77; Antonio Ybarra (Metro-East Lutheran) 78; Joey Hyten (Father McGivney) 78; Lucas Whittington (West Frankfort) 78; Caleb Trieb (Marissa) 79.
Litchfield - Tug Schwab 79.