On No. 5, a 20-minute delay wasn’t uncommon in traditionally long sectional rounds lasting up to six hours.
It can be hard for a golfer to stay in the groove, which Buck felt he was on the first nine.
“I found my swing on the first nine,” Buck said. “I started with a bogey, but got my groove around the fourth hole.”
With four birdie chances, Buck was making good work of his irons on the first nine. Making the turn at 41 left in great shape to make the cut, as an 82 would have qualified.
In reminiscing of his time at Oregon, Merrill leaves with fond memories, including winning the Byron Tiger Invite last year with a 73.
He also had an 81 at this Silver Ridge course in taking third at the 2016 regional.
“It’s been a lot of fun. I’m going to miss things like going on the bus rides,” said Merrill, who said his favorite sectional of the four was with Matt Myers in 2016.
Coach Jim Spratt felt both golfers would be hard to replace.
“Adam’s been steady all four years and Jackson gotten progressively better,” Spratt said. “It also helped our program having families like the Bucks and Merrills that have been good to us. Hopefully, our young kids will pick up where Jackson and Adam left off.”
Sectional team champ was Riverdale (320), who also won the state title last year. North Shore Country Day (329) and Sterling Newman (337) grabbed the other two state berths.
Medalist was Anthony Ruthe of Riverdale with a 73 on the 6,150-yard course, with Marcus Smith of Winnebago second with a 74.
Winnebago was fourth in the team standings and senior Scott Schneider also qualified for them with an 81.
Byron’s Tony Eddy tied for fifth with a 78. As a sophomore, Eddy was a member of the 2016 Tiger state-championship team.