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Rain dampened the 36-team Mattoon Invitational this past weekend for all golf teams involved.
It didn’t dampen Brock Peavler’s play, though.
The two-day tournament was cut down to one day on Saturday, and the Rantoul Township High School/Paxton-Buckley-Loda co-op squad ended up with a ninth-place finish out of 18 teams.
Peavler’s 3-over 75 at Meadoview Golf Course left him tied for second with Springfield Lanphier’s Nick Patton and just three shots behind Mt. Carmel’s Chase Witsman, who placed first with a 73. Rain on Friday interrupted play after 14 holes, and with tournament officials wanting to complete the tournament, it was decided that two separate 18-team tournaments would take place at Meadowview and Mattoon Country Club.
The 341 total RTHS/PBL manufactured in Mattoon would not have placed the squad among the top 10 teams competing on Saturday at Mattoon Country Club — Barrington wound up with a 316 to win the tournament there, with Springfield’s 314 earning them tournament title honors at Meadowview — but Peavler’s 75 would have had him in the top three at either course.
“He’s been hitting his driver really well,” RTHS/PBL head coach Travis Flesner said. “His short game has been inconsistent, I guess I could say, because he’ll be hitting 60 yards into a green where some of the guys are hitting 120. Some of the guys he’s playing with have been hitting it closer to the pin than he was even though he had half the distance. His wedge play was more consistent (on Saturday), and he was getting more confidence with his putter as well.”
Peavler will look to take that confidence into a 4 p.m. triangular against Mattoon and Champaign Central today, Wednesday, back again at Meadowview.
“If you feel like you’re going to hit a good shot, you usually will, especially if you have his ability,” Flesner said of Peavler. “Just actually seeing some of those shots get closer and the putts fall, it should snowball.”
Aside from Peavler’s 75, the Eagles also received an 86 from senior Dylin Harris on Saturday, along with an 88 from sophomore Cody Bauman and a 92 from freshman Keegan Brooks.
“If we threw another 80 in there, we would have gotten top five, and we would have beaten everybody in our regional that was there as well,” Flesner said. “It’s a matter of getting that fourth score. Some of the things we’re going to be working on this week is why are we 10 shots off of where we can be? It’s just something we’re going to have to work with, and we still have a couple weeks to amend it.”
Prior to Saturday, RTHS/PBL had two steady rounds to pick up three wins. RTHS/PBL edged Urbana 174-177 last Wednesday in a triangular at Urbana Country Club that also featured CPCI, which carded a 225.
Senior Joe Barton led the Eagles with a 41 to earn medalist honors, with Peavler not far behind at 42. Bauman (44) and Brooks (47) also contributed.
“We haven’t had anybody necessarily knock them down with an individual score, but overall, we’re just doing what I’ve been looking for us to do, which is get four scores in the low to mid-40s,” Flesner said. “You’re going to beat a lot of teams when you do that.”
Barton’s medalist round came a day after he shot a 53 to not factor into the team score during the squad’s 170-179 win against Champaign Central at Hickory Point Golf Course in Forsyth on Sept. 4.
Peavler earned medalist honors on the day, which also featured golfers from Decatur Eisenhower, with a 37. Harris came through with a 40 while Bauman (44) and Brooks (49) chipped in.
“We know what we’re going to get out of Brock, but after that, we have four guys we need three scores from,” Flesner said. “Within those four guys — Joe, Cody, Dylin and Keegan — if three of them can come around near conference and regionals and get us something in the mid-80s, we’re going to have an opportunity to make a little noise.”
After today’s triangular with Mattoon and Champaign Central, RTHS/PBL will play at 4 p.m. on Thursday against Judah Christian at Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet. The Eagles will return to their home course, Brookhill Golf Course in Rantoul, for a 4 p.m. dual match next Monday against Champaign Centennial.