ST. PAUL — The scores were lower on Wednesday, but none of the Suburban East Conference teams could match the Stillwater boys’ golf team en route to a victory at Highland National Golf Course.
The Ponies turned in an impressive score of 296 to finish seven shots in front of second-place East Ridge and eight shots clear of third-place Forest Lake and Roseville, who posted matching 304s.
The total was Stillwater’s lowest in the decade that coach John Scanlon has been involved with the program and is likely a school record as well. The victory also leaves the Ponies three points behind Forest Lake with two events remaining.
“It should be an exciting finish with one regular season match Thursday and a double-counting conference tourney coming up next week,” Scanlon said.
The lower scores were a necessity on Wednesday when you consider a score of 312 by Forest Lake was good enough to win Tuesday’s conference meet at the par-71 River Oaks Golf Course — a score that would have tied for seventh on Wednesday.
Sophomore Sammy Sicard rebounded quickly after hitting a shot out of bounds on his second hole to record two birdies on the way to a 2-under-par 70, which earned him a share of medalist honors with Mounds View’s Ryan Gallagher. It was the third win of the season for Sicard.
Senior Lars Lillehei joined Sicard in shooting his low round of the year with a 1-under 71 to help set the pace for Stillwater. This marked Lillehei’s third sub-75 round of the season.
Crosby Joy and Evan Anderson continued their strong play of late while contributing a 76 and 79 to the team card for the Ponies. Teammates Will Henschell and TJ Giebler followed at 83 and 85.
“It was nice when the plan comes together,” Scanlon said. “Nos. 1 and 2 Sammy and Lars come in low and 3 and 4, Evan and Crosby, chip in solid scores in the 70s. Even more important going forward, we have six or seven players who can contribute at the No. 5 and 6 positions.”
The highlights were not exclusive to Stillwater on Wednesday as Forest Lake’s Max Kelly, the 2011 individual state champion, recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth hole.
1. Stillwater 296; 2. East Ridge 303; 3, tie, Forest Lake 304 and Roseville 304; 5. Hastings 307; 6. Cretin-Derham Hall 309; 7. White Bear Lake 312; 8. Woodbury 316; 9. Mounds View 321; 10. Park 348.
Stillwater results (par 72)
Sammy Sicard 70, Lars Lillehei 71, Crosby Joy 76, Evan Anderson 79, Will Henschell 83 and TJ Giebler 85. Medalist — Sicard (St) 70 and Ryan Gallagher (MV) 70.
1. Forest Lake 31; 2. Stillwater 28; 3. Hastings 22.5; 4. East Ridge 21.5; 5. Woodbury 18.5; 6. Cretin-Derham Hall 18; 7. Roseville 17.5; 8. White Bear Lake 14; 9. Mounds View 8; 10. Park 1.