Glenbrook North senior Brian Ohr has been so good and so reliable throughout his career it almost seems unfair that he's had to play in the shadow of teammate Nick Hardy, an American Junior Golf Association tournament winner.
But in a way, Ohr is right where he needs to be.
"It's never been difficult for me," said Ohr of comparisons with his classmate. "The thing is, I feed off him more than anything. Seeing him playing so well gives me motivation. I see it as a positive aspect. He's a great player and works hard for what he gets. I don't mind at all."
"Brian's kind of the Phil Mickelson or Ernie Els to Nick Hardy's Tiger Woods," Glenbrook North coach Justin Gerbich said. "He's such an awesome kid. He'd be the No. 1 kid on 98 percent of other teams in the state. I've had other guys in the past who would always be asking if they were playing No. 1. That's what was important to them, not what they shoot.
"With Brian, he shoots what he shoots. To him it doesn't matter."
Then again, it doesn't need to matter. Ohr won the Central Suburban Conference individual championship as a freshman and has been nothing but solid for four years, during which time he has averaged 72.8 strokes per 18 holes, 36 for nine.
The Spartans took home their third consecutive Central Suburban North title last week, with Hardy winning medalist honors with a 2-under par 70 at Glencoe Golf Club. Ohr was right there, as always, with a one-over 73, good for second. At the New Trier Invitational on Saturday, Hardy finished second at Winnetka Golf Course with a 3-under par 68. Ohr, not unexpectedly, was fourth with an even-par 71.
"I've never had a doubt in my game," Ohr said. "My dad (Brian, Sr.) is always telling me to stay positive no matter what. He's really gotten that stuck into my head since I was young. And it has stuck.
"I'm more of a fighter, golf-wise. I don't hit the ball as well as Nick, but I can scramble. That's how I've always stayed positive."
As a team, the Spartans finished the New Trier Invitational with 298 points, leaving Gerbich optimistic about a possible strong state title run when teams advance to the Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington on Oct. 18-19. Glenbrook North took fourth in Class 3A last year with Hardy and Ohr both shooting 75s.
"What Nick and I are working on right now is staying consistent," said Ohr, who has received interest from multiple colleges but has yet to make a decision. "Our game is there, and we're ready for any match. We just need to stay consistent and not worry about anything.
"As a senior, I'm just trying to finish with no regrets. Not change my mind set. Just go in with confidence."