{{featured_button_text}}

BLOOMINGTON — The rest of the golfers were still on the course when Allison Enchelmayer sank a short par putt on No. 18.

That completed an even-par 71 for the Normal Community High School senior in the Intercity Girls Tournament on Tuesday at hot and windy Prairie Vista Golf Course.

While Enchelmayer earned medalist honors for the second straight year, it was another senior who sparked a different team to the title for the second year in a row.

Abby Klein, playing in the No. 6 spot, was the last University High golfer remaining. Needing an 87 to overtake NCHS, Klein fired an 82 to help the Pioneers to a six-stroke victory.

Klein didn't know what was happening when her teammates came out to cheer for her on No. 16.

"I was, like, 'why they watching me? They never do this,'" said Klein. "Then they were (saying), 'C'mon. Abby, you've got this.' I smacked my drive on 17 and they were like 'put it in.' I had no idea (about the team race)."

Klein finished with three straight pars to take fourth individually and give U High a 329 total. NCHS shot 335 for second, with Central Catholic third at 345 followed by Bloomington (427) and Normal West (458).

"It is a team, and the biggest thing is they are aware of how they depend on each other," said U High coach Greg Dennis. "We've used our Nos. 1-4 a majority of the time, but they know Abby can shoot 82 or Jaelyn (Kelly) 88. It makes it that much better they have confidence there are other players on the team."

Central Catholic sophomore Katie Steinman fired 78 to finish second, followed by the U High trio of senior Maddison Murphy (80), Klein and junior Lexi Onsrud (83).

Klein tied her career best round less than two weeks ago in the Saints Shootout — at Prairie Vista.

"I don't know. I kind of like this course," she said.

Enchelmayer also matched the score she posted to win the Saints Shootout, but this time it was more special.

"The wind was wild most of the day. It felt like it was in a different direction every hole," she said. "It did not help. It was difficult for everyone out there."

Enchelmayer made it less difficult for herself by hitting a personal-high 16 of 18 greens in regulation. She had four birdies.

"I was hitting awesome drives which was really helpful. I felt really confident in a lot of my shots today," said Enchelmayer. "This was a huge goal. I went into the season thinking I really, really wanted to win Intercity again. I did what I needed to do to relax, hit shots and keep going."

NCHS coach Mike Aslinger said Enchelmayer, a three-time Class 2A State qualifier, has taken it up another notch this season.

"She's super focused. She had two little hiccups throughout the day or she would have shot in the 60s," he said. "I'm seeing a different golfer out of her. She's put in the work and anyone who wants to know what hard work and dedication gets you, that's the girl you become if you put in the time."

Steinman, who played in the same group with Enchelmayer, recovered from a 41 on the front nine to shoot 2-over on the back.

"I've played well the past few weeks, but not as well as I would like," she said. "Overall I played all right with the wind. It changed a club or two on a lot of holes ... I didn't get any putts to drop today. I need to work on that."

U High also counted an 84 from sophomore Jaiden Mapugay, while Jadyn Spinks and Kelly had 94s. NCHS still was ahead of the Pioneers until Klein's clutch performance at the end.

"Jaelyn Kelly and Abby have both shot in the 80s. I knew either one could do it, so there was always hope," said Dennis. 

NCHS knew it would have been a big upset dethroning the Pioneers. Yet the Ironmen, who also counted Abbie Gray (87), Mackenzie Biggs (88) and Amanda Gravelle (89), weren't too disappointed. 

"We're getting there. I told them they have nothing to hang their heads about," said Aslinger. "They played well and stayed focused. We've had moments in the last couple tournaments where we kind of lost focus, and today we didn't do that."

Contact Jim Benson at (309) 820-3404. Follow him on Twitter: @Pg_Benson

0
0
0
0
0

Reporter

Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

Load comments