Elyssa Abdullah finished her freshman season in the same place where she started it.
And was the catalyst to another Hinsdale Central top finish.
The precocious Red Devils’ freshman fired a 3-over par 147 over two days at the Class 2A state golf tournament at Hickory Point Golf Club to finish in a three-way tie for fourth place, leading Hinsdale Central to fourth place in the team finish.
In the process Abdullah put a fitting capper on a spectacular freshman season. She was West Suburban Silver and sectional champion, and took second to teammate Sarah Thornton at regionals. Her season started when she shot a sizzling 66 at the state course back in August.
“I could have done better this weekend, but I think I did pretty well overall,” Abdullah said. “It probably wasn’t my best tournament, I’ve gone lower in some other invites, but it was pretty decent. I didn’t shoot horrible so I was pretty proud.”
Hinsdale Central as a team shot 627, behind team champion Barrington (595), Stevenson (610) and Loyola (612).
It’s the Red Devils’ best finish at state since they had five straight top three finishes with two state titles from 2013-2017. Sophomore Caroline Owens shot a two-day score of 156, junior Sarah Thornton 158 and freshman Toral Bhatt 166.
“I thought our kids battled, but the level of play was really good,” Hinsdale Central coach Nick Latorre said. “You have to tip your cap to the top three teams playing. It was just really good playing. To be honest 627 team score over two days is pretty good, but we have never played in quite this good of conditions.”
Abdullah was in a four-way tie for seventh place after shooting 1-over 73 on Friday. On Saturday she bounced back from a double on No. 15 to birdie two of the last three holes and finish six shots back of Barrington senior Mara Janess.
“Hole No. 16, I almost had a hole-in-one, landed a foot away and hit the pin, tap-in for birdie,” Abdullah said. “On 18 I hit a good iron, lipped around the pin and had another tap-in for birdie.
“I had a lot of confidence in myself and my team that we would finish well. As a whole we have put in a lot of work and a lot of effort to get our scores pretty well and it showed.”
Wheaton North’s Bridget Craig shot a two-day total of 155 to finish tied for 28th and Benet freshman Audrey Wake shot a 162 for 50th.
At the Class 1A meet at Red Tail Run Golf Course, St. Francis took eighth place with a team score of 345, after starting the final round in fifth. St. Francis sophomore Emmy Hollarbush led the way with a two-day total of 157, followed by Katherine Lilly (165), Sarah Grivetti (177) and Kayla Olson (189).