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Tri-Valley High School golfer Drew Guimond chips a shot from a sand trap onto the 18th green during the Class 1A state finals Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON — Golf doesn't tell Tyler Jenkins how to feel about his rounds.

Just the opposite.

"I told myself 80 would be a good number so I'm happy with it," said the Woodland High School senior, whose 8-over-par 80 tied for 16th in the Class 1A State Tournament at Prairie Vista Golf Course on Saturday.

Jenkins led Pantagraph area entrants while trailing medalist Marcus Smith of Winnebago by nine strokes. 

The team title went to Effingham St. Anthony, which shot a 30-over 318 to win by six shots over defending champion Riverdale. Hillsboro took third at 330.

Tremont's first state trip ended with the Turks in 10th at 361, one place and two shots ahead of Tri-Valley, which hadn't been to state since placing 12th in 2004. 

Jenkins was Woodland's first state qualifier since 1986 and its best finisher since Dean Bundy took 10th in 1985.

"I had no expectations so I'm just happy to be here and happy to play good," Jenkins said. "I couldn't make long putts. I was two-putting a lot. I didn't hit all the greens, but I hit just enough."

Jenkins' lone birdie at No. 4 was set up by a nicely placed wedge shot. He double bogeyed the par-5 seventh, but that wasn't too bad considering his 185-yard 6-iron plugged into a bunker.

"I couldn't see the top of the ball," he said. "I didn't get a very good shot out of the bunker and then I three-putted."

Tremont coach Troy Schmidt rated the conditions tough.

“It was cold early," he said. "The wind was probably a little impacting. We just didn’t ever really get started today.

“These guys have been golfing for me for the last three or four years. It’s just nice to see all their hard work come to fruition. Getting here was a big milestone for sure."

Alec Gilmer led the Turks with a 15-over 87 followed by Tim Rice with an 89.

“The wind wasn’t too bad and the course played good for me for the most part,” Gilmer said. “(The cold) doesn’t affect me too much.

“We knew we were pretty good, but we didn’t think we could put it all together like we did. We had a successful season so I’m happy about it.”

​Tri-Valley was led by sophomore Matthew Barker, who tied for 21st at 82. He was in the top 12 until shooting 5-over the final three holes. Only two sophomores shot better.

Tri-Valley also had senior Camdyn Zook dip under 90 with an 87.

St. Anthony's fourth team title follows championships in 2001, 2002 and 2009. Coach Phil Zaccari said a quick start was the key "and then having fun on the back side."

St. Anthony's scorers were seniors Luke Ludwig (76), Ben Strullmyer (79) and Nathan Schultz (80) and junior Jayden Rios (83).

"Our seniors really stepped up today," Zaccari said. "They played great down the stretch and that's what did it."

Smith, a Winnebago junior, showed potential last year when he tied for third.

"I started off with two bogeys my first three holes and I was like 'I have to turn it around,'" Smith said. 

After shooting a 2-over 38 on the front nine, Smith saw Beardstown senior Chase Piehler was leading at 1-under.

"I like the back nine here a lot," said Smith, who notched birdies at No. 16 and No. 18. "I was able to take advantage of a few holes finishing up. I was hitting my irons really well today. I was getting them close."

Smith credited his three-shot victory over Piehler to last year's finish.

"I knew I had it in me and I knew I just had to play my game to win and that's what I did," he said.

 

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Contact Randy Sharer at (309) 820-3405. Follow him on Twitter: @PG_sharer

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Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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