SYCAMORE – Winds and cooler fall temps were the story of Tuesday’s Interstate 8 Girls Conference Tournament at Sycamore Golf Club. The tournament was the final outing before the IHSA regionals on Thursday.
Kaneland won with a 358, ahead of DeKalb-Sycamore’s 369 and Ottawa’s 419.
“It was definitely a tough day out there,” Kaneland head coach Joe Hughes said. “Really windy, really wet to open the round, so it was a very difficult day for everyone to get started.”
Although Hughes thought conditions were tougher the Knights cruised to a third-straight Interstate 8 team championship while senior Katharine Marshall took home the individual title.
“I’m happy that I won, but I felt like I could have played better,” Marshall said. “Definitely some strokes left out there.”
The DeKalb-Sycamore girls also finished on the podium as a team, with two finishers in the top three, coming within striking distance of the Knights.
“I thought we did well,” DeKalb-Sycamore head coach Christian Thurwanger said. ”Kaneland’s been our No. 1 competitor all season, but I think the girls played well.”
Ottawa rounded out the top three team finishes with Hannah Dugan taking home fifth place. Ella McDonald of Morris was eighth with a 97, tied with La Sall-Peru’s Allie Thomas.
Sandwich was fourth with a 516, and Plano was fifth with a 549 to round out the team scores.
Thurwanger said this was the team’s first time this season in the cold and with balls not traveling as far, but playing Tuesday sets them up well for Thursday.
DeKalb-Sycamore junior Brianna Chamoun finished runner-up individually to Marshall.
“If I’m honest, I didn’t like how I played, but I had fun with it,” Chamoun said.
Following Chamoun on the podium was senior teammate Lauren Cohn who said her play this year is encouraging heading down the stretch.
“I think it felt good to play better than last year,” Cohn said. “I didn’t do as good on the podium last year, but it wasn’t my best day. I think it could have been a little bit better, but it’s over now.”
While the team finish gave Cohn confidence, having clarity also is important to her.
“It definitely does feel a little bit better, but I still think that we need to go in with a clear mind,” Cohn said.
Hughes said that Marshall’s senior season has been one that standouts to him.
“(Katharine) probably had one of the best seasons of any golfer in the area,” Hughes said. “An impressive performance throughout the season, not just today.”
Marshall said that a winning senior season was always the goal, but now, as the Knights turn their attention to a home regional at Hughes Creek in Elburn, the goal is to advance together.
“I’m hoping to qualify [for sectionals], but if the team qualifies that’s even better,” Marshall said. “That’s our goal, but all you can do is just play your best.”
Teams now are looking ahead to the regionals slated to take place Thursday. Kaneland will host a regional at Hughes Creek starting Thursday morning.