You are the owner of this article.
Leon Oh making most of his time
editor's pick

Leon Oh making most of his time


Leon Oh has been in the United States for a month, yet today he's already playing on Illinois high school golf's biggest stage.

The St. Teresa foreign exchange student, of Germany, tees off at 10:09 a.m. today on the 10th hole at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington during the first round of the Class 1A boys golf state tournament.

And if he finishes his round in time, he'll pack up and drive 15 minutes straight east to Cornerstone Christian Academy to play for the Bulldogs in the 1A boys soccer regional championship game.

"I would wholeheartedly assume that's what he's going to do," St. Teresa golf coach Julie Spent said. "That's the kind of guy he is."

Last Tuesday, after shooting the sixth-best overall and second-best individual qualifying score (76) at the Tuscola Regional, he was eager to run away to St. Teresa home soccer game against Meridian.

Oh shot a 76 again Monday to qualify for today's state tournament out of the Watseka Sectional. He scored a goal and assisted on another the next day in St. Teresa's 3-2 win in the boys soccer regional semifinal game.

"He loves to play both sports and really loves being a part of the team," Spent said. "He doesn't like to let his teammates down playing golf or soccer."

Oh said he plays both sports, "to play for the school and to make the best for the school." His school.

Oh has only been here for a little more than one month but has jumped right in. He's hosted by Bryce Shumaker's family. Bryce plays soccer. Oh, a junior, is a student in Spent's English class.

He met his coach in class, approaching her one day and expressing an interest in playing golf and soccer.

"He mentioned that he played some golf before. He mentioned that he had an established handicap," Spent said. "That's not something you hear every day from a high school student."

Oh almost immediately brought more depth to the golf team, specifically at the top alongside Cayden Brilley.

His low scores helped St. Teresa win the boys Central Illinois Conference golf championship Sept. 27. Brilley shot a 79, Oh an 81. The Bulldogs edged Sullivan by eight strokes.

He out-shot Brilley all the way through the postseason, though, with a pair of 76s leading to the spot in today's field.

"I really look forward to it, and I think it'll be a great experience," said Oh, who played a practice round on Thursday. "It's a great honor to play in the tournament for me."

All that Spent has seen up to this point convinces her Oh will play well.

"He is just cool as a cucumber. You can't faze him," Spent said. "He kind of had a rough day at the sectional, wasn't hitting the ball real well. He kept fighting. He kept saying, 'I'm not playing well, but I'm scoring well.'

Oh's 76 at the sectional tournament sets him up as one of five players in the field to card the number. The best score was a 71 by Winnebago's Marcus Smith, and 22 other golfers bring in a score better than 76.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News