DEMOTTE | As the scores from Saturday's Kankakee Valley Invite were slowly posted outside the clubhouse, most players were shaking their heads. The 30 mph winds wreaked havoc all day and added several strokes to individual and team scores.
"It was real bad," Merrillville's Malik Mohammad said. "I couldn't keep my balance. I couldn't swing. My putts were off. The course played long, and the wind made it longer and tougher."
The beautiful, yet challenging, Sandy Pines Golf Club course even got the better of the best golfer, Crown Point's Nick Grubnich, an Indiana University signee.
"It was just terrible all day," said Grubnich, who took medalist honors with an 82. "It never really let up. It just got worse and worse."
But Grubnich and his teammates' sum was better than its parts on the windy course, finishing with a 351 to win the team title by seven strokes over Andrean. Rensselaer was third with a 360 in the 15-team field.
"Anytime you win, you're happy," Crown Point coach Del Kutemeier said.
The Bulldogs also had an unexpected contribution from sophomore Sam Beishuizen, who fired an 83, good for runner-up individual honors. Beishuizen is a JV player who made the most of his opportunity to fill in for some varsity players who had an orchestra band commitment.
"This was my first varsity match ever so it was a pretty decent start," he said. "Anytime I can be within seven or eight shots of Nick, I'm more than pleased."
Beishuizen's game was conducive for the conditions.
"I don't hit it very far so I caught my drives, and everything is always nice and low," he said. "I stayed out of the wind all day."
He also sank a 30-foot putt for par on No. 6, and Kutemeier said Beishuizen was the difference for the Bulldogs.
"Sam has got a real good short game," Kutemeier said. "He's a good putter. "
Andrean's Phil Paras and Brenden Mulshine each carded an 88 to lead the 59ers.
"I was really happy with how all the kids hung in there today because of the conditions," Andrean assistant coach Jim Batusie said.
Trent Junk carded an 87 to pace Rensselaer, while No. 1 Bo Culp settled for a 90.
"I'm happy with the team total, but I'm a little surprised, individually, we didn't score a little bit better," Rensselaer coach Jeff Phillips said.
"The course owned me today," Culp said.