Through the front nine of Wednesday’s Class AA Plainfield North Regional, Waubonsie Valley coach John Farnan was sweating.
His team made the turn at a season-worst 186, despite senior star Bing Singhsumalee’s 34, putting the Warriors in third place and in danger of not advancing to next week’s Class AA Lincoln-Way Central Sectional at The Sanctuary in New Lenox as a team.
However, his team came through big on the back nine, using a 15-stroke turnaround to card a 346. Despite the fact it was their worst 18-hole total of the season, it was enough to win the regional title, the fourth for the program in the past five seasons.
“That was real nerve-wracking,” Farnan said. “It was not looking good through the front nine. It was like two different days today. To come back on the back, I told the girls that I was very proud with how they didn’t quit on themselves and didn’t quit on the team.”
The Illinois-bound Singhsumalee was dominant yet again. She blew the field away with her 68, taking medalist honors by nine strokes on a windy day.
“It was really course management and managing the wind,” Singhsumalee said. “I’m striking the ball solid, my putting is there. There’s always stuff to work on, but I’m happy with where I’m at right now.”
The three Indian Prairie School District teams swept the three team qualifying slots and the top four individuals in scoring. Metea Valley advanced to sectionals as a team for the first time in program history, finishing second with a 357.
Niquole Mangal was second individually with a 77. Katelyn Kline added an 82 and Erin Foster shot a 95.
“Last year we had two individuals (Kline and Mangal) at sectionals, so it’s a good step for us to get the team there,” Metea coach Rob Jordan said. “We’ll see if we can get the team or as many individuals as we can to state. That’s the next step.”
Neuqua Valley took the final qualifying spot with a 361 behind a 78 from defending state champion Jessica Yuen. The whole team was 100 or under, with Stephany Stumphauzer (93), Kiwi Ferrarelli (94) and Isis Ruff (96) counting behind Yuen.
“It’s not a great score, but that’s how we are this year,” Neuqua coach John Keller said. “I’m happy that they’re all 100 or lower. That’s our kind of team.”
The team that denied the Wildcats a trip to sectionals last year, Naperville Central, didn’t qualify as a team, but the Redhawks occupied five of the 10 individual advancing slots, led by Stephanie Robinson and her 84. Kate Ryan (90), Lydia DeMoss (95), Casey Novak (97) and Heather Griffith (98) all move on.
Oswego East just started its girls program this year, and the Wolves will send three golfers to sectionals, led by freshman Juvia Davis’ 94. Alayna Dieter (98) and Leena Hwang (99) also advance. The other two qualifiers came from Plainfield North, Carly Staser (89) and Marissa Platt (98).