NAPERVILLE – For the Shermans, golf is a family tradition.
Two of the Sherman men – Burlington Central junior Andrew and freshman brother Joseph – continued their family’s love of the sport Monday at the IJGA Jarvis Memorial tournament at Cress Creek Country Club in Naperville.
“It started with my dad,” Joseph said. “My dad was a big golfer in high school, and then my oldest brother, who’s going to be a sophomore in college, he was golfing. He was pretty good. And then Andrew and I just kind of naturally picked it up because the family was golfing.”
Joseph said it wasn’t quite like the two were playing side-by-side, as they teed off hours apart from one another and were grouped in different age divisions. But still, for Andrew, playing on the same course and day as his younger brother was a great experience.
"It's a blast,” Andrew said. “I love watching him and walking around with him. He's great. He's coming up right on my tail. It's just a blast playing with him.
"There's a lot of motivation for me to keep practicing and keep getting lower because I can't be beat by my little brother."
The two will be able to compare scores a lot more closely next season, when they both compete on the Rockets’ golf team.
Andrew was able to edge out his brother on this day, posting a 78 (+6) compared to Joseph’s 84 (+12), but he wasn’t the area’s top finisher. St. Charles East junior Ronnie Griggs shot a 77 (+5), just one stroke away from the tournament-low of 76 in the boys senior division, ages 16 to 18.
“I thought I hit the ball pretty well, had a really good day with the short game and putts today,” Griggs said. "I've been practicing putting a lot, so I know that's finally starting to help a lot. I've been working on my irons a lot, and that's helping, too."
Griggs was one of several Saints playing in the older boys division, giving the tournament a distinct East flavor. He was joined by a pair of teammates in Kyle Jacobs and Connor McCadam. McCadam said it was great to be able to compete alongside – and against – his teammates.
"It's pretty fun,” McCadam said. “You'll be waiting on a couple tees later in the day. It's nice to have people to talk to and just talk about their round and joke around. It's always fun.
“It kind of does [feel like a team event]. But, now we're competing against each other instead of as a team, so that adds some more fun to it."
In contrast with Griggs and Andrew Sherman, who both finished near the top of the leaderboard, many golfers weren’t pleased with their scores. High numbers were certainly impacted by windy conditions at Cress Creek, something several golfers said made a huge difference.
"[The wind was] pretty bad,” said Batavia native Alex Sommerfeldt, a junior at Benet Academy. “If you're aiming at the pin, it's probably going to go 10 yards, 15 yards to the right, so you've got to compensate for that."
Though some saw the heavy breeze as just another hazard to work around.
"It definitely made you think about your club selection and what type of shot you were going to hit,” Andrew Sherman said. “You had to adjust on a lot of the holes. But I would say it made it a bit more of a challenge."