Hinsdale Central golfer helps team win fifth title, finishes in first place
Brendan O'Reilly finished his high-school golf career the way it started – by being a part of a state team title.
The new twist this year was that he added a state championship of his own.
O'Reilly, a senior at Hinsdale Central High, shot a 2-under 142 for first place at the Class 3A boys state golf meet Oct. 14-15 in Bloomington to lead the Red Devils to the team title – the program's fifth championship in a row.
“It was awesome to finish that way because I knew I helped my team win our fifth state championship in a row, which is something really special,” O'Reilly told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Streaks like ours don't come around too often.”
O'Reilly began his final high school state-meet weekend with a 3-under 69, and followed that with a 1-over 73, according to ihsa.org. He bogeyed just six out of the 36 holes at the state meet, while recording nine birdies.
“The key for me was just to try not to force anything,” O'Reilly said. “I played pretty conservatively for the entire 36 holes. I really didn't take any big risks, and I trusted my wedges and putter to score.”
His big weekend in Bloomington put a cap on a great four-year individual run at the state meet. As a freshman in 2013, O'Reilly tied for 11th, came back as a sophomore in 2014 to finish third, then tied for seventh as a junior in 2015.
O'Reilly said his earliest memories of golf were when he was 5 years old, when his father took him out to the course to play and teach him the game. O'Reilly remembered watching golf on TV and becoming interested in it.
The moment he knew he had turned a corner in golf came before his freshman year, in 2013, when he won the Illinois State Junior Amateur Championship. According to ijga.bluegolf.com, over the last nine holes of the final round of that tournament, O'Reilly had no bogeys and one birdie.
He's also done well on the national level. At the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, held in Bluffton, South Carolina, O'Reilly place fourth in the stroke-play portion of the event, with a two-round score of 140, which was two strokes back from first place, according to usga.org. He then reached the second round of the match-play portion.
Coming into this high school season, O'Reilly wanted to get better off the tee and improve his putting, he said.
“Those were the two parts of my game I really thought I was losing strokes in, and I think they are the two most-important parts of golf, where you can take over the field,” he said.
O'Reilly said he will be playing in tournaments across the country in the offseason and into the summer before joining the University of Illinois program. There, he will join another team that's used to success. According to FightingIllini.com, coming into this season, the Illini had won seven of the previous eight Big Ten Conference championships and had won four-straight NCAA Regionals.
Organizations in this Story
5500 S Grant St
Hinsdale, IL - 60521