The 80-year old Illinois Women's Amateur golf championship could have one of its youngest champions Friday if Bing Singhsumalee can get by one more match.
Singhsumalee, 16, faces University of Iowa junior Lauren English of Bloomington in the 9:20 a.m. title match at Cantigny in Wheaton. Singhsumalee, a junior at Waubonsie Valley High School, shared medalist honors with 2012 champion Elizabeth Szokol, a Northwestern sophomore from Winnetka. Both shot 73s on Tuesday.
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Szokol was eliminated by Illinois' Ember Schuldt 3 and 2 in Thursday's morning quarterfinals, and English ousted Schuldt 3 and 1 in the afternoon semifinals. Singhsumalee earned her berth in the title match by beating 2011 champion Nora Lucas of Chicago 2 and 1.
"It's really fun playing with people older than me," said Singhsumalee. "It's definitely a new experience because I'm so used to playing people 17 or 18."
What isn't new is Singhsumalee's experience at Cantigny. Though she lives in Naperville and lists Bolingbrook as her home course, Singhsumalee started playing at age 4 on Cantigny's Youth Links. She graduated to the big course when she was 8.
"I feel it's an advantage because I know the feel of the layout and speed of the greens," Singhsumalee said. Cantigny, the site of three men's Illinois Amateurs, is hosting the women's event for the first time.
English needed an extra hole to oust Samantha Postillion of Burr Ridge in the quarterfinals and made birdies on both of the back-nine par-3s to claim her semifinal against Schuldt. She finished that match with an 8-iron to 18 inches at the par-3 17th.