Boys golf dominates at state

First state win in program history, junior rewrites record books


State champion Jason Gordon hoists the boys golf state championship trophy before walking in the Homecoming parade on Oct. 17. Gordon won state as an individual, shooting 137 over two rounds and tying the state series record. The team shot 575 over two rounds, winning state while breaking the previous record. Photo by Kate Leverenz

After hitting his furthest drive of the week, junior Jason Gordon chipped the ball within 5 or 6 feet of the 18th hole and prepared for his team’s final shot. Sinking the putt, Gordon cracked his first smile of the day as he clinched both a record-setting individual championship and the boys golf program’s first state championship.

“If you don’t feel the pressure, you don’t really care, and I cared a lot,” said Gordon.

“I wanted the team to win. I wanted to win. So on [hole] 18 I definitely felt the pressure over the tee shot … I just said to myself, ‘Keep the pedal down and finish strong.’”

According to Justin Gerbich, boys varsity golf coach, at the start of the second round, the team was tied with New Trier for first out of eight remaining teams.

Typically, the state tournament is won and lost in the last three holes, Gerbich said.

“Our lead started shrinking and shrinking, and then we actually were behind going into the last three holes,” said Gerbich. “We ended up getting a shot up, and Jason hit one of the best shots I’ve seen, in clutch at the state tournament.”

The team was leading New Trier by one stroke going into the 17th hole, a par three, when Gordon cleared the water hazard, hitting his tee shot about a foot away from the hole.

The team finished with a score of 575 through their two rounds of play, beating the previous record for the lowest score in state series history by eight strokes. This record was shared previously by St. Viator and University High School since 2008.

Gordon shot 137 over his two rounds, tying the record for lowest individual score in Class 3A state series history.

Senior Issa Kuwahara placed fifth individually with a score of 142, tying for the 12th lowest score in Class 3A state series history.

Kuwahara, who typically golfs in a pair of Adidas Yeezys rather than golf shoes, said he bought a new pair of golf shoes and gloves for the tournament.

“This [was] by far the most important [tournament of the year],” said Kuwahara. “Other tournaments I would just wake up, show up and not really prepare. I actually warmed up for it and treated it like an actual tournament and not just like a match.”

According to Gordon, the team was confident in their ability to win the tournament.

“We had the best team going in and we knew if we played well … if we played to our potential, the records were bound to come.”