Schuck's Clipboard

Quincy's best golfers? That list creates a lively debate

By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 26, 2019 12:01 am

The list intrigued and baffled me at the same time, but at first, I couldn't put my finger on why.

A trend popped up over the past week on Twitter where sports-savvy area fans engaged in entertaining debates over top-of-the-charts lists. These weren't exactly top 10s, but they were starting points for discussions about the area's most dominant multi-sport athletes, top single-sport athletes, etc.

Every conversation veered in different directions and led to the unearthing of names too easily forgotten.

That's why I was stuck on the list unveiled Friday morning. It ranked the top 10 boys golfers Quincy has produced, and it had me thinking someone was missing. That's why I kept reading it from top to bottom and wondering about the criteria.

Was the list based on prep career? Junior career? Amateur career? Professional career? Local tournament success?

There are so many variables that could influence opinions, and these are strictly opinion-based lists.

I reached out to the two golf fanatics who kickstarted the conversation -- Tim Schrage and Aaron St. Clair -- to see what their parameters were. Schrage said they lumped all aspects together and evaluated the total success of the careers.

With that said, it's no surprise D.A. Weibring and Luke Guthrie were at the top.

Beyond that, it gets interesting and highly debatable. Every golfer Schrage and St. Clair put in their top 10 has a quality resume, and what separates each is how you value their high-water marks.

Some won state championships. Some played great in college. Some took a swing professionally. Some have dominated the city tournament. All know how to play the game.

Tony Carnivale does, too. That was the name I realized was missing.

He belongs in the top 10 with plenty of reasons why. A 1991 graduate of Quincy High School, Carnivale teamed with Ryan Graff and Chris O'Connell to form a dominant top three for the Blue Devils, who won the 1990 Class AA state championship by nine strokes over New Trier.

Carnivale finished 12th individually that year as the Blue Devils had three players in the top 15. Graff won the state championship and O'Connell finished eighth.

It was the third state medal Carnivale won. He finished fourth as a sophomore and third as a junior, becoming one of only two golfers in program history with three state medals. Luke Guthrie is the other.

Want more evidence? Since the Pepsi Little People's Golf Championships added a boys 16-17 division in 1986, only two Quincy golfers finished the 36-hole event atop the leaderboard in that age group.

Zach Burry won the title outright in 2013, and Carnivale tied Jacksonville's Bobby Sims for first in 1990, losing in a playoff.

Carnivale, who went on to become a two-time letterwinner at the University of Missouri, deserves more than a mention in this debate.

He's earned a spot in the top 10. At least he has in mine.