Senior and defending medalist Davis DeKorte shot even-par on Thursday to help the Lake Forest College men's golf team take the early lead at the three-day Midwest Conference Championship Tournament at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford, Illinois.
DeKorte's 72 matched his season-low round and was just one stroke off his career-best. He is in second place overall, three shots behind the leader, after the first of three rounds on the 6,615-yard course. DeKorte birdied the 365-yard, par-4 third hole but made three consecutive bogeys beginning on nine. Birdies on the 150-yard, par-3 13th hole and 525-yard, par-5, 16th brought him back to par and an up-and-down from the right side of the green on 18 kept him there at the end of the day.
Forester sophomore Jacob Krugman's 15 pars on Thursday were three more than any of the other 32 players in the field and he is tied-for-sixth in the standings with a 75. Bogey's at 8, 10, and 11 were the only blemishes on his scorecard.
Juniors Ricky Schmidt and Elijah Collins carded 78s on Thursday and are tied-for-12th overall. Schmidt made back-to-back birdies on the 315-yard par-4 seventh and 169-yard, par-3 eighth but bogeys on five of the next six holes. He closed with four straight pars. Collins was two shots over par after five holes but played the next eight in one-under with birdies on the 558-yard, par-5 sixth and 405-yard, par-4 11th.
Senior Durham Ghelfi was just a shot off the scores posted by Schmidt and Collins. Just five players had more than his 11 pars on the day and he carded a birdie on 13. Sophomore Austin Aksoy had a birdie on the 130-yard par-3 fifth and finished with a round of 82.
Lake Forest's 303 on Thursday matched their lowest four-man score of the year and tied their second-best round since the programs return to varsity status in 2014. Knox, whose best player on Thursday finished in just 69 strokes, was just one shot behind the Foresters and one ahead of third-place Illinois College. Defending champion St. Norbert College sits in fourth place at 315, a shot ahead of Monmouth College. Grinnell College has just three players and will not be part of the team standings.
Friday's play is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., as is Saturday's final round.