It’s a first-time feeling for Megan Furtney.
The former St. Charles North golf star, now a soon-to-be senior at Duke University, can add another notch to her storied golf career.
Furtney claimed the Illinois State Women’s Amateur Championship on June 16, besting Minnesota’s Grace Curran from New Lenox in a rematch of last year’s final.
It is the first time Furtney claimed the championship.
“Required a lot of focus and patience, not letting your mind wander too much,” Furtney said. “The wind felt really good. I’ve been working really hard on my swing the last couple months and especially these last few weeks. I was really just trying to go out there and feel good with my swing mechanically and stand my ground. I feel like I did a pretty good job of that. I’m feeling pretty good.”
Furtney and Curran, a Lincoln-Way Central graduate, are no strangers on the golf course going back to high school. They both were top 10 state finishers in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Furtney helped lead St. Charles North to a team state title in 2018.
“After losing to her last year, I knew what to expect,” Furtney said. “I knew she hits a lot of really big shots and makes a lot of really clutch putts. And she came out of the gate firing today and I told myself before I went out and played ‘just expect that from her’. She’s a great player, so I just went out there and kept focus on hitting fairways and greens and it eventually worked out in my favor.”
After tying Curran, Furtney rolled in a birdie on the ninth hole and then maintained the lead. Furtney hit all the greens on her back nine assignment.
”I’ve been playing golf tournaments with her since we were 9 years old, so I’ve known her forever,” Furtney said.
Furtney’s swing from when she was a senior at St. Charles North and helped the program win the team state title has understandably taken a leap.
“With a golf swing, you’re always going to have habits that stick with you no matter what,” Furtney said. “But I think the really big difference now is I can kind of pick apart my swing pretty easily and really just notice that if I start hitting it left or right I know immediately what I’m doing. And I know, for sure, what I’ve got to fix.
“It’s a pretty cool development. I didn’t have it in high school. You start hitting it left and you just start aiming further right. You don’t really have any kind of fix you can do in a round. Now I’m really able to do that, which I think has really helped my game get to a different level.”
Furtney has a busy schedule ahead before heading back to Duke for her senior year. Furtney is slated to compete in the Western Women’s Amateur in July and also partake in a charitable event her teammate Phoebe Brinker is hosting in support of mental health awareness.
“That’s going to be a really cool thing to be a part of,” Furtney said of the event in Atlanta. “She’s put on a couple charity events before and every player has to raise $1,000, which I think is really awesome. Just get everyone really involved. ... I’m really excited to be a part of it.”