Girls golf: St. Francis' Lemke makes coach's job easy
Gay Crain knows just how to coach St. Francis junior Katherine Lemke on the golf course.
"Just stay out of her way. There's not much I need to do," Crain said with a laugh. "It's easy coaching."
Lemke did the heavy lifting again Thursday at the Class 2A Glenbard East regional at Glendale Lakes Golf Course. She shot a 1-over-par 71 to win medalist honors, and St. Francis qualified as a team to Monday's Hoffman Estates sectional at Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club. The Spartans shot a 346 as a group.
"She's carried us a long way," Crain said of Lemke. "Hopefully a little bit more."
St. Francis played in Class 1A Lemke's first two seasons, placing seventh at state last year. Lemke enjoyed playing against the bigger schools this year, many of which are in the area.
"I just think there is more depth of golfers," said Lemke, who tied for 12th in Class 1A last year. "I kind of know what I'm getting. I know a lot of the girls who are good instead of getting to state and there are all these girls from down south who I didn't know existed."
The golfers at the sectional will know about Lemke after the way she played at the regional.
"I think my iron game was definitely working for me today. I was a little wild off the tee, but I was able to hit some pretty good shots to get myself out of trouble and onto the green," Lemke said, who tied for 12th at state last year.
Lyons Twp. won the team championship with a score of 331. Wheaton Warrenville South earned the third and final qualifying spot with a 350, edging fourth-place York by 3 strokes.
"I'm very proud of the girls," WW South coach Art Tang said. "Actually, our goal going out was to shoot something in the 350s. To be able to come in at 350, I told the girls great job, whatever happens, happens. You did whatever you could do to give yourselves a chance, and they did. And luckily they made it."
WW South senior Grace Ellison and York senior Haley Blattner tied for third with a 79.
"She's been playing really well the last two weeks," Tang said of Ellison.
Glenbard West sophomore Brooke Roscich earned the 10th and final individual qualifying spot, doing it the hard way. When regulation ended with her in a three-way tie for that final spot at 96, Roscich sank a 25-foot birdie putt in a playoff hole to qualify.
"I was nervous, because I knew if I were to sink it, I would win it," she said. "But I knew that my team was behind me and it would be what it is."
Roscich saw a comparison with the recent BMW Championship held at Medinah, what with the other golfers, coaches and fans forming a gallery.
"So it was kind of like what it was like to be a professional golfer. ... It was a cool experience and a lot of fun," she said.