With birdies on her third and fourth holes, Trinity Corwin got off to what she called a wonderful start.
She also had a wonderful finish with five straight pars.
The Schaumburg senior played even golf on Hickory Point Golf Club's par-72 layout in Decatur and finds herself in a four-way tie for the lead in the Class AA state girls golf meet.
Also shooting 72s were Mattoon sophomore Kira Wolf, O'Fallon senior Alyssa McMinn and St. Charles North junior Megan Furtney.
Buffalo Grove senior Haeri Lee (73) is tied with two others for fifth place while Wheeling junior Adrienne Rohwedder (74) is in a six-way tie for eighth. Palatine senior Jenny Myslinski (82) is tied for 55th.
In the team race, Barrington is tied with St. Charles North for second place, 10 strokes behind New Trier, which is 15 strokes over par.
Leading the Fillies are sophomore Caroline Smith (75, six-way tie for 14th), junior Nicole Ciskowski (76, six-way tie for 20th), freshman Stephanie Su (79, tied for 37th) and junior Olivia Lee (83, tie for 59th).
"We're in the mix," said Barrington coach Jodi Schoeck, whose team was second to Wheaton Warrenville South in the 2016 state finals. "We've got to stick to our plan. We've been here before. We're going for it."
Corwin's 72 included birdies on her third and fourth holes, which were the course's No. 12 and 13.
On the 387-yard, par 4 No. 12, she drove down the fairway and hit a 9-iron from 140 yards to within 37 feet of the hole. Corwin then converted the downhill putt, which went left to right to put her at -1.
She went to -2 on the next hole, the 158-yard par 3.
Corwin hit a pure 5-iron to within 35 feet and sank the uphill putt.
"Those birdies on the course's backside gave me confidence to play my game more than ever before and it paid off real well," Corwin said. "My first nines holes helped me through my round."
A round in which she parred her final five holes to head into today.
"It was a wonderful day," said Corwin, who made 10 greens in regulation. "I like to say a long course like this one plays to my advantage because I hit my driver long, averaging between 260 to 280 yards.
"I hit a lot of them straight and long today and my putts were dropping. I had some shots that were around trees and other difficult ones so I definitely I had to work for this."
Corwin played competitive golf this summer in several tournaments for the IJGA and MAJGT and she competed in the Colorado Jr. Golf Alliance, where she shot a 69.
She is making her first appearance in the state final.
"It's great," she said. "I'm so thankful for my coach (Michelle Hinojosa) and my teammates, who have allowed me to grow and be the best person I can be.
"I'm just going out there for (Saturday's final round) and play the best golf I can," she said. "And I want to enjoy doing it because there is no better feeling than golfing at the state meet."
Lee is in her second year downstate.
"She played great," said BG coach Matt Myers. "She was really hitting her driver, woods and hybrids unbelievably well. She was really squaring them up and putting herself in position to hit the fairways and greens in regulation. It's really exciting."
Lee had 1 birdie on each nine.
"The course is longer than what we've been playing but obviously I've played longer in the summer so it's not bad," Lee said. "I've got to come out and stay consistent (on Saturday) and attack the pins."
Barrington hopes to knock down New Trier's 10-stroke advantage.
"The girls were excited and pumped up to get the first round under their belts," Schoeck said. "For Nicole (Ciskowski), Caroline (Smith) and Ishani (Majmudar who shot an 85), this is their second state finals. For Stephanie (Su), Maggie (Hoffman, who shot an 87) and Olivia (Lee), this was their first day teeing off in front of a state finals crowd. It always takes a couple holes to settle into the round."
Schoeck said her golfers had to grind it out all day.
"The course didn't give us any freebies," she said. "We put ourselves right in the mix and have to dig deep and play hard (Saturday). Our biggest goal is to stay loose and have fun."
The Fillies enjoyed one of their best postseasons in school history, winning the Mid-Suburban meet, regional and sectional.
"This team deserves to be here playing among the best," Schoeck said. "It is time to go get it. I have so much confidence in this group. They give it everything they have and never quit. This state tournament is full of quality teams and individuals. The competition is fierce.
"I'm looking forward to one last ride together at the end of this incredible journey this season. This team is one-in-a-million and they are ready to dream big and make some noise in Decatur."
Class 1A: St. Viator (375) is in 10th place at the Red Trail Run Golf Course in Decatur, where Rockford Lutheran is leading in the team standings (333).
Lions freshman Cate Reisinger is just 2 strokes off the lead for the individual title. She shot a 5-over 77, trailing Pinckneyville's Megan Breslin and Pontiac's Ali Schrock, who shot 75s.
Completing the Lions' score card were sophomore Madeline Sebastian (92), freshman Paige Klostermann (102) and senior Arianna Arthur (104).