LADUE • For at least one day, Michael O'Keefe, a junior golfer from Mary Institute Country Day School, can lay claim to the same lofty status as the actor of the same name, who played Danny Noonan in the classic golf movie Caddyshack.
O'Keefe, the high school student, carded a 3-over-par 74 to win the boys 16-18 division at the St. Louis Inter-Club Junior Golf Association Championship at Old Warson Country Club on Wednesday.
Like Noonan, who sank a long putt to help his duo win the match at the end of the film, O'Keefe exploded with a 35 on the back nine to run away with the crown.
Drew Lilly, also a junior at MICDS, finished second at five strokes back.
O'Keefe represented Persimmon Woods in the 18-hole affair.
The hard-charging O'Keefe shot a 39 over the front nine and struggled with several aspects of his game. But he picked up the pace down the stretch to pass Lilly, who led by two shots at the turn.
"After the front nine, I just tried to be more aggressive," O'Keefe said. "I started trusting my swing more."
O'Keefe and Lilly have formed a healthy rivalry. The two have taken turns topping one another on the SLICJGA summer circuit. They share the No. 1 spot on the MICDS squad.
"If I couldn't win it, I'm glad he did," Lilly said. "He works hard at his game."
Lilly, who represented the St. Louis Country Club, stands 5-foot-5 and weighs 100 pounds. But he possesses a fundamentally sound swing and he rarely makes mistakes.
O'Keefe, on the other hand, plays an aggressive style and it paid off in the final event of the season.
"I haven't been playing that well this summer, this is probably my best round," he said.
I've just changed my mindset and so far it's worked."
O'Keefe is well aware of the role Noonan played in the film although this was the first time someone had mentioned it to him.
"Great movie, love the ending," O'Keefe said.
Ditto for Wednesday's ending.
TIGER SHOOTS A 70
Edwardsville High junior Justin Hemings recorded the best score of the day, a 1-under 70 to run away with the boys 14-15 division.
Hemings, representing Sunset Hills Country Club, recorded seven birdies and shot a 34 on the front nine despite what he claimed was a slow start.
"The first two holes, I was a little tight," he said. "But I eventually got things going."
ANGEL COMES UP BIG
St. Joseph's Academy junior Katie Glickert won the 16-18 girls division with an 83. She shot a 39 over the front nine.
It was Glickert's first time at Old Warson.
"It wasn't as much about winning as it was about playing well on a great course like this," she said.
Glickert was representing Forest Hills.
Alexander Zhang (boys 9-11), Lucy Bloomstran (girls 12-13), Riley Durham (girls 14-15) and Michael Bugyis (boys 12-13) all won their respective divisions.