The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

October 15, 2013

Bott claims sectional title

Blue Devils book their third trip to state

DANVILLE — Finally.

That’s how Bismarck-Henning senior Andy Bott felt walking off the No. 18 green at Harrison Park on Monday afternoon.

In a one-hole playoff with Hunter York of Decatur Lutheran, Bott claimed the IHSA Class 1A Bismarck-Henning Sectional titles with a par, while York got a bogey.

“That’s the first playoff that I’ve won,’’ said Bott, who shot an even-par 71 to get into the playoff with York. “I was 0-2 in playoffs coming into today. I lost one last year in Paris.’’

The other playoff loss for Bott was in the 2011 IHSA Class 1A State Tournament when he bogeyed the first playoff hole against Tri-Valley’s Austin Sproles, who claimed the state title with a par.

“That came into my mind when I hit my birdie putt on the playoff hole,’’ Bott said. “It was so easy for that putt to get away from me. I was thinking, don’t ram it by and get too aggressive with it.’’

York, whose approach shot flew over the No. 18 green, had just missed a tricky downhill par putt, seeing his ball hit the back of the hole and pop out.

Bott, who admittedly hit his approach shot a little farther than he wanted, knew he had two putts to win his first-ever sectional title.

“I knew he was in deep trouble over the back of that green,’’ Bott said. “I was trying to keep it short, but I hit it a little thin. I knew anything over that green was death.’’

While Bott, with his round of 71, was guaranteed a spot in this weekend’s state tournament along with junior teammate David Warren, who shot an 80, their Blue Devil teammates turned up their play on the final nine holes to finish second in the team standings with a 330. El Paso-Gridley claimed its second straight sectional title with a score of 313, while Champaign St. Thomas More also advanced to state with a third-place finish and score of 340.

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