His first state finals appearance was cut short due to inclement weather, but the second state finals berth was one to remember for Lemont High School sophomore Paulius Malcius. He placed fifth at the 2019 IHSA Class 2A Boys’ Golf State Finals, which were contested on October 18-19 at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University in Normal. Malcius is just the fifth golfer in program history to earn a medal in state finals competition.
Malcius was steady throughout the event, and finished the 36-hole event by shooting an even par 142 (70-72) on the par-71 course. Malcius was tied for third after the first round after shooting a -1 70 that featured four birdies. In the final round, he totaled two birdies on his way to a +1 72.
Prior to Malcius, Lemont’s boys’ golf program had four individuals earn medals in state finals competition, including Shane Purtle ‘12, whose third-place tie at the 2011 IHSA Class 2A State Finals remains the best finish in program history. Other medal winners have included Dave Lucheon ‘77 (t-7th, 1976), Tom Lynn ‘07 (t-8th, 2005) and Raymond Sullivan ‘18 (t-12th, 2015).
Malcius earned his state finals berth thanks to a seventh place finish at the IHSA Hinsdale South Sectional on October 14. He posted a +4 76 at Prairie Bluff Golf Course in Lockport, tying for seventh overall and third among golfers whose teams did not qualify for state finals team competition. The top three teams from each of the IHSA’s four Class 2A Sectionals advanced to state finals competition, along with the top 10 individuals from schools that did not qualify for state finals team competition. Head coach Mark Hollatz’s team placed ninth.
Hollatz’s squad advanced to sectional competition by posting a runner-up finish at the IHSA Lemont Regional at Cog Hill Golf Course; Malcius led his team by placing third with a +9 80. Earlier this season, Lemont won its 14th straight South Suburban Conference-Blue Division title, with Malcius picking up individual medalist honors with a +3 75.
In 2018, Malcius became the first boys’ golfer in school history to qualify for the state finals as an individual in his freshman season. He is one of just three freshmen in program history to compete in the IHSA State Finals, but the other two – Raymond Sullivan in 2014 and current senior Grant Sullivan in 2016 – were part of teams that qualified for the state finals.
Prior to this season, Lemont had qualified for IHSA state finals team competition ten times in the previous 13 seasons. Its first team state finals berth came in 2005, when the squad qualified for the IHSA Class AA State Finals. The team also advanced to the IHSA Class 2A State Finals each season from 2007-11, and again annually from 2014-17. The program’s best finish was third place in 2011.