The timing couldn’t have been much better for Glenbrook North sophomore Emma Vickery to shoot her career-best round in high school.
With the Class AA postseason set to start Oct. 8, Vickery carded a 76 Saturday at Willow Glen Golf Club in North Chicago and finished first at Loyola’s invitational. It was Vickery’s first round in the 70s this season and her first tournament win in two varsity seasons.
“Everything I’ve been working on all came together,” said Vickery, who pointed to her length and accuracy off the tee for Saturday’s success. “I definitely feel a lot more confident in my game.”
Vickery was one of Glenbrook North’s best players as a freshman. She was selected to the all-Central Suburban team and qualified for the sectional tournament, where she posted an 84 and failed to make the state cut.
“Last year was an eye-opener for me,” Vickery said. “I was a little inconsistent and not sure if I could take my game to the next level.”
But Vickery spent the summer playing multiple tournaments hosted by both the Illinois Junior Golf Association and Mid-American Junior Golf Tour. It was the busiest she had ever been with golf.
“She always had raw talent and was a great ball-striker, but she’s improved every part of her game since last season,” Glenbrook North coach Michael Schroeder said. “She had been knocking on the door all year, so it was nice to see her break through when it counted [Saturday].”
Vickery’s 76 helped the Spartans take second with a 358 in the six-team tournament. Loyola won its own tournament with a 321.
Glenbrook North plays Oct. 8 at Loyola’s regional at Glencoe Golf Club. The sectional tournament is Oct. 13 at Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee. Schroeder said he sees no reason why Vickery can’t take the next step and play at the state tournament later this month in Decatur.
“She absolutely can do it,” he said. “She made a good run at it last year and came close. She’s a better player this year, and I know she has the potential to go very far [in the postseason].”