Neuqua Valley freshman Jessica Yuen made the adjustments she had to make Monday during the Class 2A Burlington Central girls golf sectional at Randall Oaks in West Dundee.
And by making those adjustments, Yuen came away as the individual sectional champion.
The diminutive Wildcats' rookie shot a 4-over par 75 on a windy and challenging day at the 5,030-yard course, then beat Rockford Boylan's Melissa VanSistine on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff for the first-place medal.
Crystal Lake Central shot 340 to win the first sectional title in program history, while Wheaton Warrenville South (348) and Prairie Ridge (351) also qualified as team's for this weekend's IHSA state finals at Hickory Point in Decatur.
Individual qualifiers included Bing Singhsumalee of Waubonsie Valley (81), Ellen Nighbor of Glenbard West (81), Hanna Netisingha of West Chicago (82), Jenna Kurosky of Burlington Central (83), Paige Jordan of St. Charles East (84), Courtney Williams of Waubonsie Valley (85), Ariana Furrie of St. Charles North (85) and Dia DelaCruz of Addison Trail (86), who beat Jane Noelker of St. Charles East on the second playoff hole, which was played well after sunset.
Yuen was in the clubhouse relatively early and had fans buzzing when her 75 was posted.
"My putting wasn't completely where I wanted it to be but I saved par a lot and my shots were good, " said Yuen, who eagled No. 3 and had two birdies. "The greens were fast and I like fast greens but they were tricky and the wind was challenging. You had to hit decent shots next to the hole."
WW South hit plenty of decent shots in qualifying for the state finals for the third time in four years.
"I knew we had a chance coming in and I think we caught a break with the pairings," said Tigers' coach Art Tang. "I knew if we played well today we had a chance."
Tigers' senior Renee Solberg will make her fourth straight state finals appearance after finishing third individually with a 76.
"I started off with a good up-and-down par but then I bogeyed four straight holes," Solberg said. "But then I got a birdie and that kind of jump-started my round. Once I got used to the conditions I got much more comfortable and focused. My drives were pretty strong and having that distance helped because of the wind. I just wanted to put myself at a yardage I could score from."
Kelly Anderson added a 78 for the Tigers, who also counted a 95 from Camille Granberry and a 99 from Erika Murphy.
"Renee and Kelly gave us a chance," said Tang. "I knew if they could come in with some scores that we'd have a chance."
For Crystal Lake Central coach Kathy Speaker, her team's championship effort made her gush with surprise.
"We told them if they all shot around 85 they could do it and they did it," Speaker said. "I'm just so proud of them. It's a testament to the work they do."
Sophomore Larissa Luloff led the Tigers with an 82, junior Bailey Bostler had an 83, senior Ann Bandolik shot 87 and junior Alex Siavelis, whose score didn't count for the team at the Fox Valley Conference meet or at regionals, came in with an 88.
Prairie Ridge's third-place finish was boosted by a 77 from Delaney Peterson.
"The way we played the back nine I didn't think we had a shot but Delaney came through with a 34," said PR coach Patti Hie. "That really put us over the top."
The Wolves also counted an 84 from Danielle Roulo, a 93 from Robin Manarik and a 97 from Michelle Nalepa.
Individually, it was a bittersweet advancement for Waubonsie Valley's Singhsumalee, as her team finished fourth and just 4 shots out of qualifying.
"My putting," said the Warriors' sophomore when asked what part of her game could have been better. "I couldn't get used to the greens. They were faster than I expected, and my irons were really weird today."
For St. Charles East senior Jordan, the wind took its toll.
"The front nine, the wind was just awful," she said. "I didn't know how to judge anything. The last time I played in wind this bad was at state last year. I was trying to play the wind when I shouldn't have."
St. Charles North senior Furrie had a 46 on the front before recovering with a 39 on the back to qualify for the state finals.
"I just had a couple holes that messed me up," Furrie said. "I didn't play well at all. My driving was pretty good all day but my chipping messed me up."
Burlington Central junior Kurosky, playing her home course, became just the third Rocket girl in program history to make state, following Kelly Kostock and Allison Kramer in the early 1990s.
"I had a pretty shaky start on the front nine but I really pulled it together on the back nine," said Kurosky, whose freshman sister Josie had a stellar day with a 90, even though she missed the cut. "My iron shots were straighter and farther on the back. I'm OK with it but I've played (Randall Oaks) so much I should have done better. Some of my set ups were a little off. If I had fixed some of those I would have bad better straighter shots."