Boys Golf: Glenbrook North’s Hardy keeps clubs warm over the winter
Glenbrook North's Nick Hardy hits a shot during the 2011 Class 3A Palatine Sectional. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:29AM
Nick Hardy is better than ever and playing with like someone out to prove himself.
Missing the cut for the state tournament last season as a sophomore will do that to a player such as Hardy, who tied for 14th as a freshman.
A rising junior at Glenbrook North, Hardy put in the work during the offseason and looks capable of contending for a state championship this fall.
“This is most confident and excited I’ve ever been going into the (summer) season,” Hardy said.
In three junior tournaments this year, Hardy has yet to finish outside the top 10. In April, he tied for fourth against a national field at an AJGA event in the Atlanta area, with rounds of 73-71 for an even-par 144. The finish gave him an exemption for the rest of the AJGA tournaments this season.
Hardy followed up his first tournament with two IJGA events in May.
“Every year, I get more experience,” he said. “The more experience I get, the more confident I become. I can’t wait for the rest of this summer.”
Since the state meet, Hardy spent most of his time at an indoor facility in Highland Park, sharpening every skill, from putting to driving. He also traveled to the Tuscon, Ariz., area, where his grandfather lives, to play and practice in the warm weather.
“It’s very nice to have a place like that to go down to during the winter,” Hardy said.
Hardy next tees it up Tuesday at Whisper Creek Golf Club, in Huntley, for the U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier. Two days later, he plans to enter the qualifying tournament for the Illinois Open.
Two other stops on his schedule include the Western Junior Amateur, in Florida, and the Illinois State Junior Amateur at Makray Memorial, in Barrington.
“Every month is going to be busy for me,” said Hardy, who plays and practices at the Merit Club in Libertyville.
Once the summer comes to a close, Hardy will rejoin his Glenbrook North teammates for another run at a state title. One of the top teams in the state all year, the Spartans collapsed at sectionals last fall.
Hardy is one of six players back from the postseason lineup. Nick Jan, Harrison Marick, Brian Ohr, Jon Goldstein and Jae Lee also all played on the regional championship team in 2011.