OSWEGO – Ben Klimenko carried his team’s huge regional scorecard as he walked through the awards tent Oct. 7.
He’s living large lately.
Klimenko, who anchored Wheaton Warrenville South’s DuKane Conference championship last week, kept it rolling.
He shot a 3-over-par 75 on a breezy afternoon at Oswego’s Fox Bend Golf Course, and the Tigers needed every last shot to take the Class 3A Oswego East Regional team title.
Klimenko’s 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18 gave WW South a team score of 312, just edging Oswego (313) and Waubonsie Valley (313).
“I thought we would be close to winning,” Klimenko said. “Now that I look back, if I miss that putt, we tie. It was a nice putt to make, especially down the stretch.”
Klimenko tied teammate Jason Prince at conference, winning the individual title in a playoff. His 75 on Oct. 7 was good for second behind Will Troy of Waubonsie Valley (71).
WW South’s Dhilan Desai shot a 78, good for fifth, Ben Gorski carded a 79 and Jack Turner had an 80.
“Our end of the season goal is to get to state,” Klimenko said. “The whole team is putting in the work.”
The Tigers are certainly motivated.
WW South narrowly missed out on state last year, taking fourth in sectionals, after qualifying in 2014 and 2017.
“I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress; hopefully we can make it as a team, or at least a couple individuals can,” Klimenko said. “I’ve definitely done a lot better with ball striking and putting. I putt well at conference and made a lot of big putts here, four birdie putts I think.”
He made a big one early, a 50-footer on the second hole on his way to a 3-over 39 on the front nine.
“I made some big putts on a couple of the holes and then on the back started hitting the ball well, especially the driver,” Klimenko said. “It’s definitely a tough track, especially with the wind blowing. There were a lot of big scores out there. I played it pretty good.”
Medalist Matthew Buckley shot a 72, and the Dukes shot a combined 307 to win the regional title at Addison Trail. Zach Sutter shot a 77, Sam Bartolone a 78 and Joshua LaBounty an 80 for York.
St. Francis’ Zach Mulhearn shot a 79 for medalist honors at the Class 2A Montini Regional, and St. Francis advanced as a team.