Plainfield North junior Margo McClintic ran into a former teammate Wednesday afternoon at Phillips Park Golf Club in Aurora.
“How did you do?” the former Waubonsie Valley student asked Bing Singhsumalee at the Class AA West Aurora girls golf regional.
“I did OK,” Singhsumalee sheepishly replied.
It was quite an understatement.
Singhsumalee torched the par-72 layout with one of the most remarkable rounds in state history, playing her first 11 holes in 7-under as part of her course-record 64.
The Warriors cruised to their third consecutive regional team championship behind Singhsumalee, who recorded an astonishing 10 birdies, with a 324 team total.
Waubonsie Valley sister schools Neuqua Valley (337) and Metea Valley (351) snared the other two team berths to the Burlington Central sectional on Monday at Randall Oaks in West Dundee.
West Aurora (365) and Batavia (386) combined for half of the 10 individual at-large qualifiers, who shot 93 or lower to advance, in placing fourth and fifth.
Singhsumalee ran the gamut in assembling her school-record total, parlaying a chip-in at No. 5 for the first of three straight birdies on par-4s.
One hole later Singhsumalee closed her flawless front nine with a birdie to make the turn at 5-under 31; she only was getting started.
The Warriors’ sophomore nearly aced the par-3 10th for her sixth birdie.
“It landed a little short and spun to the left,” Singhsumalee said of the tap-in from only inches away.
Her second run of three consecutive birdies that culminated with more red at No. 11 put Singhsumalee in another hemisphere.
“I wanted to make sure I didn’t let the pressure get to me,” Singhsumalee said. “My goal was to get as low as I could to help the team. Our ultimate goal is to get to state as a team.”
“When she got to 7-under after 11 holes, that’s when I knew she had something special going,” Waubonsie Valley coach Jack Farnum said.
Singhsumalee actually had a pair of dropped shots over her next three holes, only to rebound with the last of her double-digit birdies coming home.
“I try not to think about it anymore,” said Neuqua Valley coach John Keller. “It doesn’t do me any good.”
Keller was discussing the fact Singhsumalee would be a Neuqua Valley student if the opening of Metea Valley did not necessitate boundary changes.
But the only coach Neuqua Valley has ever known has an underclass star of his own: freshman Jessica Yuen.
The long-bombing Yuen repeatedly outdistanced Singhsumalee off the tee in fashioning a brilliant 2-under 70 of her own.
“I just try to play my own game,” Yuen said. “I have played with Bing a lot. I know Bing can shoot a really low round.”
Courtney Williams’ 81 was good for third for Waubonsie Valley; Nicquole Mangel and Anna Petersen had matching 82 for fourth and fifth for Metea Valley.
West Aurora top-rated senior Kara Smith had a front-row view of the Singhsumalee and Yuen masterpieces as part of the lead pairing.
Smith struggled in the rainy conditions on the front nine but rebounded with a solid inward-nine to lead West Aurora to its fourth-place showing.
“The front nine I was a little shaky,” Smith said of her outward-nine 45. “I settled down after that and played much better on the back.”
Smith authored a half-dozen pars en route to a back-nine 40; the resulting aggregate 85 translated into a ninth-place finish.
Unfortunately for West Aurora, though, visions of a team sectional berth vanished before the Indian Prairie juggernaut.
“I’m going to miss some of my teammates (at the sectional),” Smith said.
But the senior does have two companions who will also compete as individuals: MacKenzie Fabrizius and Jordan Lange.
The former bettered her teammate, 91-92, to advance.
“We all set goals,” said Lange, whose older sister Erica, along with Kim Hunley, were the last two West Aurora state qualifiers (2005). “I think everyone can be proud of the season they had. The weather affected my front nine. The ball wasn’t going as far as I wanted it to.”
Kayla Vicory and Alex Robertson completed the Blackhawks’ team score with 97s.
Batavia coach Morgan Connell entered the tournament with first-hand knowledge of the advantages the three fellow Upstate Eight Conference schools enjoyed.
“I knew we couldn’t get out as a team,” Connell said.
But Sierra McNee and Lauren Anderson are still alive in their joint quest to produce a program state qualifier in as many tries as their third-year coach.
McNee picked an opportune time for a personal-low, playing her back nine in 41 for an 88; Anderson also secured top-12 status with her 90 as the Bulldogs’ No. 1 player.
“I knew all year that Sierra and Lauren had that kind of potential,” Connell said. “This is a glimmer of next year to come. We have a lot of young talent.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.