Girls golf: Furtney, SCN overcome conditions, take titles
The shortest hole at Turnberry Country Club proved to be the most challenging Wednesday at the Class 2A Crystal Lake Central girls golf regional.
Measuring 109 yards, No. 11 is a short par 3 with water on the right and sand on the left.
But it wasn't either of those two hazards that gave golfers such fits and led to multiple players taking five, six, seven or more putts on the green.
With a pin placement on a slope and a gusting wind behind it, numerous golfers watched as their uphill putts would get to the hole, stop, then start rolling right back down the slope to where they just putted from -- or sometimes going past them.
"If you didn't make it, it was coming right back to you," Burlington Central coach Kyle Nelson said. "I've never seen anything like that."
"It really was the perfect storm," St. Charles East coach Jarod Gutesha said. "The pin placement (on the slope) and then the wind was blowing from right behind (the slope)."
Duke-bound Megan Furtney, a senior at St. Charles North, took a double bogey on the hole -- and was relieved. She overcame that to shoot a 1-under par 71 and win the regional crown.
"I was like, 'Let's get out of here, let's go. Double bogey is fine with me,'" Furtney said. "I've never been on a hole like that, maybe in mini-golf once in awhile you get some that crazy. We had a three or four group backup and just sitting there watching every single girl. Everyone had to deal with it. It was tough."
The pace of play was slow all day. Furtney's group, the final one, finished in just under six and a half hours.
The group included Molly Lyne from Crystal Lake co-op. Her 76 was good for second place, but she came to No. 11 at 1-under par.
A bogey on the 11th started a 5-over stretch over the final 8 holes.
"My putting, I gave myself 5-footers which with the wind aren't guarantees," Lyne said. "My lag putting kind of hurt me at the end. My mental focus -- it was a long, long round -- I think I just lost it a little bit.
"It was crazy. I've played in a lot of wind but not like this. The front nine was tolerable and the back nine kept getting worse."
Furtney and Lyne led their teams to the two best scores. St. Charles North won going away with a 315 to Crystal Lake Central's 362. Those two plus third-place Geneva at 370 all advance to Monday's Class 2A Huntley sectional at Blackstone Golf Club in Marengo.
Emma Hayes (80), Sarah Arnold (81), Katelyn David (83) and Catie Nekola (83) gave the North Stars five strong scores with Furtney.
For Crystal Lake, Kathryn Bevill shot an 83 and Renata Petersen an 89.
Furtney's 71 included 4 birdies.
"Whenever I had wedges into the green I tried to take advantage of that," Furtney said. "It (hitting wedges) was rare out there. Some of the really long holes were into the wind as well.
"It was definitely a grind out there. The wind was absolutely relentless. Every hole that's where you were focused on, where is it going, how much is it going to take this ball. Just really making sure you were keeping the ball in decent position. A couple of the par 3s we sat there 20, 30 minutes. It's frustrating for sure but try to shake it off and keep going and focus on the next shot is all you can do."
Geneva coach Doug Ross liked the focus his team showed in taking the third sectional spot.
"On a day like today you have to be proud of making it through," Ross said. "It's not a pretty performance by any means, all the kids know that. On perfect conditions you play against the course, adverse conditions you play against other girls. We're battling through, and we told them that ahead of time. They shifted to play more against the girls on the course and fought their way into a sectional spot."
Geneva freshmen Reese Clark, Kaylin Johnson and Annie Monroe shot 90, 91 and 92 -- Monroe coming from the fifth spot. Avery Frick added a 97.
"For her (Monroe) to step up and be our third scorecard as a freshman, completely thrilled with her play," Ross said. "It's the girls who collect their thoughts more, stay in the moment more, don't get sidetracked. It's those girls who can slow their play down and show some maturity on the course that usually will prevail on adverse conditions."
Ten individuals also advanced to sectional including Huntley's Katie Matustik (91), Burlington Central's Brianna Benjamin (92), Sydney Killeen (95) and Rosemarie Barnes (97), Dundee-Crown's Alyssa Trebat (92), Jacobs' Roslyn Leitner (95) and Lauren Kempf (95), and Hampshire's Delaney Marcuccilli (96).
Trebat missed qualifying for sectional by a stroke last year. She overcame a 9 on one hole and a 7 on another.
"Very stressful," Trebat said. "I had a couple blowup holes but I was just pushing through it. I got through it. You just have to take some time. One of my drives I had to wait a good solid minute because it was so windy. I feel everyone today was struggling. I'm proud I pulled through with a low 90s score. I was pretty proud of it given the conditions."