COAL VALLEY — A golfer can find inspiration in a lot of places.
Adam White, who is not in the chase for Quad-City Amateur Tour Player of the Year honors, both looked back and ahead for the spur he needed to post one of the best rounds on Saturday at the Tour Championship at Oakwood Country Club.
“Just the competition,” said White of what inspired him to a 1-under 70. “I had a bad stroke-play event a couple of weeks ago at Short Hills, and I kind of wanted to redeem myself. I didn't want to go into the winter like that with a bad taste in my mouth.”
As the stroke-play tournament season winds down for the summer, White should get plenty of competition in today's final round of the final QCAm Tour event of the season, presented by the Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline.
Jack Vercautren, who hails from Naperville and is playing in both the student-athlete and championship divisions, had the day's best round. With a 5-under 31 on the inward nine that included an eagle 3 on the 495-yard 13th hole, Vercautren carded a 3-under 68. The sophomore-to-be at College of DuPage was 2-over on the front side that included three bogeys and a birdie.
Vercautren, Anthony Ruthey (72) and Aaron Willie (78) are battling for the top three spots in the boys' student division and the scholarships awarded to those finishes. Megan Medinger, who leads the women's student-athlete division, tried to lock up that scholarship on Saturday as she opened with a 75 from the white tees.
Ben Peters, who opened with a Saturday 72 and is tied for third place, is in an excellent spot to secure Player of the Year honors in the Championship flight. His round included a 2-under 34 on the back nine as he also eagled the 13th, playing in the same group with Vercautren.
With Aurora University golfer Noah Hogue shooting a 72, three of Saturday's top five men's scores belonged to golfers in the student-athlete division.
Dave Waugh, who has dominated QCAm Tour seniors play of late, was off to a good start en route to securing the Senior Player of the Year honor with a 75 that had him in second place. Oakwood member Kirk Trede topped the senior division with his Saturday 2-over 73.
While Vercautren used a strong finish to get to the top of the leaderboard, White wasted no time getting his round started with a bang. His third shot of the day was a 40-yard chip-in for eagle on the 509-yard par-5 first hole.
“It was running hot and the pin just got in the way,” said the 2009 St. Ambrose grad with a smile.
His round ended with a bad double bogey that wiped out two of three back-nine birdies. His round of 35-35 included the eagle, three birdies, two bogeys and the double.
The 32-year-old White was pleased with how he played and how his swing held up, admitting he was a little surprised how routine his round was.
“I didn't really have a ton of expectations coming in here,” he said. “I just knew I wanted to do better than my last tournament.”