NORMAL — Whatever the final rounds of Madison Humke and Drew Eaton lacked in flamboyance, they more than made up for with steady play in the 17th annual State Farm Youth Classic on Wednesday.
Humke won the women's age 18-22 division at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State by tacking a 2-over-par 74 onto Tuesday's 73 for a 147 total and a seven-stroke margin over runner-up Caitlin Sims, an ISU player from Athens.
Eaton's 1-over 72 on Tuesday left him two shots back in second heading into the final round of the men's 18-22 division where he shot 71 for a 143 total and a four-stroke advantage over runner-up Joe Burke of Macomb.
Women: Humke, who will be a senior at Chatham Glenwood High School, won despite having only two birdies compared to five the day before.
"I was just hitting the greens and two-putting," she said. "I had a couple up-and-downs that really saved some strokes."
Humke, who tied for 57th in last fall's Class 2A state tournament, was especially thankful to get up-and-down at Nos. 5 and 8 to soften the sting of four bogeys.
Humke's stellar short game is no fluke.
"I've been working on it a lot," she said. "My putting has definitely saved me."
Humke couldn't complain about her efforts off the tee, either.
"I had a couple drives that weren't really the best, but I did hit my driver pretty good ... just right down the middle all day," she said.
Sims' final-round 75 included four birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey.
"I put it in the drink on No. 17," lamented Sims. "I'm a lot happier with today because my ball striking was more consistent. I gave myself more opportunities and then was making some putts.
"When I missed the greens, I was in pretty good places except for a couple of occasions. I was able to get up and down. I'm really happy with how I'm putting, especially compared to how my season was at school."
A highlight on the greens was her 27-footer for birdie on No. 14.
Third went to Bradley's Megan Medinger of Moline, who shot 79-157, while Alton's Victoria Hays was fourth at 77-159.
Men: A Central Missouri golfer from Quincy, the 19-year-old Eaton won for the first time in years. He set the tone for his round by opening with a chip-in. After six holes, he was 3-under, but then double bogeyed No. 7.
"I shot even on the front and then on the back I was just really steady and made a lot of pars," he said. "It was pretty stress free. It was a lot of 30-footers for birdie and tapping in for par."
Wednesday's round included a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 6, but most of Eaton's putts were shorter and made him recall the days when he dreaded 5-footers.
"I have a lot of confidence on the green right now so those 4- or 5-footers don't really bother me very much," he said. "A lot of my birdies, I just hit it really close.
"I knew coming down the stretch, if I kept it at even or 1-over, I knew I'd have a really good chance. That's what I focused on. I wasn't trying to get scores from anyone in front of us."
Burke, the first-round leader from Western Illinois, carded a 9 at the par-5 No. 6 in his 77.
"I really rebounded well from that," he said. "I was even or 1-over for the rest of the round. I was proud of myself for that."
Burke felt at home on the tee box, but the greens were another story.
"I hit driver a lot better today, but I didn't putt very good," he said. "Short putts today were just not my thing. It was a good learning experience and I know what I need to work on now."
Palmyra's Tyler Woods of Parkland College took third at 75-148. Defending champion Mitch Cremer of Decatur tied for fourth at 152 with Christian Deters of Teutopolis and Brandon Rowe of Oakwood.