DECATUR – Lauren Beaudreau admitted it.
“I ended up leaking oil coming in,” the Lemont resident and Benet Academy star said after her 1-over-par 73 for a total of 4-under-par 140 brought her the Class 2A individual title by a stroke over Lincoln-Way Central’s Brianne Bolden.
The two seniors dueled over the Hickory Point Golf Club course, albeit on the opposite nines, before Beaudreau overcame a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 15th and finished with three straight pars shortly after Bolden posted an inward 3-under-par 33 on the front side for 5-under-par 67, the day’s best round.
There was good news for Bolden and her teammates as well, a rally for a third-place finish and the last available trophy. The Knights, backed by Bolden’s 67 and the 68 of fellow senior Grace Curran, scored 12-over-par 300 on Saturday to jump from sixth to third and finish at 48-over-par 624, three strokes better than New Trier, which had been in a trophy spot most of the day. It was Central’s first trophy for a top-three finish in the sport.
“All year, we’ve just battled,” Knights coach Brian Shannon said. “Last night I told them, ‘You’ve still got tomorrow, still got a chance to do something special.’ And that’s what this team did.”
It wasn’t just Bolden and Curran, who totaled 3-under-par 141 and 6-over-par 150 respectively. Junior Carly Schiene’s 81 for 164 was a big help, especially her outward 2-over-par 38, and sophomore Caitlyn Parrish’s 172 was the final piece of the puzzle to make up for an uncharacteristic 36-over-par through 18 holes.
“At the beginning of the year, I split up the team because Grace and Bri can only do so much,” Shannon said. “Carly and Maddie (Pyle, who scored 84 Saturday) had to come through.”
The Knights finished 14 strokes behind team champion St. Charles North, which finished at 34-over-par 610. Barrington was second at 42-over-par 618.
Curran dropped a 30-foot putt for an eagle 3 following a 175-yard approach on her second hole, the par-5 11th, added two more birdies on that nine, and then matched Bolden’s inward 33 for her 68. Both players concluded their careers by winning their third-straight state medal.
“I’m proud I was able to bounce back today after yesterday (an opening 82),” Curran said. “I knew our team was still in it, so I was playing for the team, obviously.”
Bolden, whose back has ached for the last week, said the wait to see if she would be in a playoff was “the exact same thing as last year. I gave it my all, missed a shorter putt on the last hole for birdie, but played a lot better than I planned to with my back.”
Beaudreau’s Friday round was a race into red numbers on the back nine even as the rest of the field shivered in the cold and snow. After going out in even-par 36, she birdied five of her last eight holes, including a birdie 3 at the last, for an inward 31 and 5-under-par 67, a record for the IHSA championship at Hickory Point, and one off the overall IHSA mark of 66 fired by Lake Forest’s Hailey Koschmann at Hickory Ridge in Carbondale in 2007.
Bing Singhsumalee of Waubonsie Valley had set the Hickory Point mark with a 69 in 2014.
“My approach shots were just lasers [Friday], Beaudreau said. “I was really hitting the ball great.”
With a quick start on Saturday, Notre Dame-bound Beaudreau made seven birdies across 11 holes. Then, she hung on.
“This is the reason I came back to play high school golf this year,” said Beaudreau, who played AJGA tournaments last fall. “There are so many good players behind me, I didn’t want to settle for pars. I wanted to get off to a good start.”
She led by seven strokes at one point before the double on the 15th and Bolden’s rally cut the gap to one. An up-and-down par save from a bunker at the last following a two-putt par at the 17th assured her the victory.
CLASS 1A FINALS
In the Class 1A finals at Red Tail Run in Decatur, Providence took eighth place, while Celtics senior Ellie Bilotta shot a 159 to tie for 16th place.