NORMAL — Morton senior Tommy Kuhl fired an impressive 8-under 63 in the first round of the Class 2A boys state golf finals at Illinois State's Weibring Golf Club on Friday afternoon.
Kuhl has a seven-shot lead over Cameron Karney of Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge and Kolten Bauer of Alton Marquette, who both shot 1-under 70s. Kuhl had six birdies on the front nine to post a 30, while adding two birdies on the back nine for a 33.
"My putter was on fire, but I played smart and put myself in the right place on the greens," Kuhl said. "My mindset was to play smart and not get overly aggressive. I went in confident and under control because you can get into a lot of trouble out there."
The 63 tied the Weibring course record and is lower than any single-round individual score recorded on the Illinois High School Association's website (IHSA.org).
Kuhl tied former Illinois State players Matt Miller, Tommy Bliefnick and Joe Emerich with the 63.
Morton is in sixth place after posting a 311 team total. Arlington Heights St. Viator leads the team standings at 301. Normal U-High (305) is second.
Morton sophomore Connor Vicary posted 77 as the other top scorer for the Potters. Vicary is tied for 25th.
In Class 1A, Brimfield senior Brady Kreiter, El Paso-Gridley senior Nathan Lavender and Peoria Christian senior Isaak Ramsey are all in good position individually after the first round at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
Kreiter shot 6-over 78 to tie for seventh place, while Lavender and Ramsey both posted 79s to tie for 12th.
Putnam County is in fifth place with a 338 team total. Port Byron Riverdale (324) is in first place, while Hillsboro (331) sits in second in the team standings. Port Byron Riverdale senior Tyler Bussert shot 1-over 73 to claim first place position.
In Class 3A, Pekin is in 12th place at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.
The Dragons finished the first round with a 338 team total and were led by senior Mason Ghidina, who posted a 4-over 76. Ghidina is in 25th place.
Hinsdale Central is in first place with 295, while Wilmette Loyola Academy is in second with 302. Hinsdale Central junior Josh Lundmark and Edwardsville senior Ben Tyrrell are both tied for first place after posting 3-under 69.