BLOOMINGTON — Alec Shoot is from Quincy, the same hometown as PGA Tour member Luke Guthrie.
While Shoot has never met Guthrie, they share something on the golf course — a title in the Country Youth Classic.
Shoot won the boys 16-17 year-old/AJGA division title Wednesday in a fashion that would have made Guthrie proud. He birdied the 18th hole to get into a playoff and then prevailed with a 25-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course.
“I’ve never been in a playoff or won a tournament,” said Shoot. “I was a little bit (nervous), but I told myself if you make par on this hole that will be good.”
Guthrie won the boys’ 12-13 title in the inaugural CYC in 2002 and repeated the next year. He is in his first full year on the PGA Tour and ranks No. 65 on the money list with $910,163.
Shoot fired a 3-over-par 75 in Wednesday’s final round to finish with a 149 total, the same as first-day leader Hunter York of Decatur (77) and Dan Bredernitz of Mapleton (76).
In the playoff, Bredernitz was short of the green on No. 1 while York’s approach sailed over. Both faced 10-foot par putts after chipping. Shoot could have lagged close and put the pressure on them, but he settled matters by sinking his birdie effort.
“I was trying to make it. I had a birdie putt on that hole the first time,” said Shoot. “It didn’t break too much, so I knew what line I was going to go on. I just put it on the line and gave it my best shot.”
Shoot will be a senior at Quincy High School and hopes to make another visit to The Den for the Class 3A State Tournament in October. He fired 83 in the state tourney’s first round last year before the second round was rained out.
Kody Rendleman of Murphysboro missed the playoff by a stroke to finish fourth after shooting 73, the day’s best round.
Gavin Halsey of Bloomington earned the first flight crown after shooting 76-161, edging Nick Tasch of Mundelein by a stroke.
Girls 16-17/AJGA: Emilee Flaugher of Edwardsville nearly went in the water twice on the 18th hole at Prairie Vista Golf Course.
Not that it would have mattered anyway.
Flaugher could laugh about her final-hole bogey that finished off a 4-over-par 76. That gave her a two-day 153 total and a nine-stroke victory over Meghan Kramp of Springfield (83) and Elizabeth Leath of Chesterfield, Mo. (84).
“It was two swings. I was very hesitant and didn’t want to go in the water. Whatever. Its fine,” said Flaugher, smiling. “It’s done and over.”
Flaugher, an Edwardsville High School senior who has already committed to the University of Virginia, fired an even-par 36 on the front nine.
“I feel like I hit the ball better (than Tuesday),” she said. “I thought I hit the ball well yesterday, then I found out I didn’t hit that many greens and fairways. I think I hit more today.”
August Will of Hudson, who will be a University High junior, shot 91-187. She earned the Grand Champion award that went to the golfer with the combined low score from the Pepsi Little People’s last week in Quincy and the CYC.
Boys 14-15: The flight from South Africa to Quincy last week had Garrick Higgo suffering from jet lag in the Little People’s first round.
Higgo felt refreshed both days this week. The 14-year-old resident of Stellenbosch, South Africa, fired a 3-over-par 75 on Wednesday at Prairie Vista gave him a 152 total and a three-stroke victory over Kyle Eggenberger of Pontiac (76). Anthony Bolden of Mokena took third (74-156).
While many South Africans have played in the CYC in the past, this was Higgo’s first trip to Bloomington-Normal.
“I was putting well,” said Higgo, who birdied Nos. 9 and 15. “The greens are a bit slower (than in South Africa). I played Pepsi Little People’s, so that’s how I got used to them.”
Eggenberger, who will be a Pontiac High School sophomore, bettered his first-round score by three strokes.
“Today I just made some better putts than yesterday. They just fell,” he said.
Spencer Jackson of Bloomington claimed the first flight title with 95-191, two shots better than Anthony Neve of Macomb (92) and three ahead of Brady Colburn of Secor (94).