HUNTLEY – The Crystal Lake Central co-op girls golf team wasted little time setting the tone for what it hopes is another season that ends in a state tournament berth.
On Tuesday, the Tigers received strong performances from all five of their golfers in the season-opening Huntley Invitational at Pinecrest Golf Club, winning the 12-team tournament with a score of 172.
Central finished 14 strokes ahead of runner-up Plano (186), and Grayslake Central placed third with a 187. Central also won the invite in 2012 and 2013.
Huntley finished in fourth with a 196, Jacobs (217) tied for ninth and Dundee-Crown (257) was 12th.
Senior Larisa Luloff played in the first group of the day and recorded a 2-over-par 38 to start the early scoring for the Tigers. Emily Jean and Lauren Kalamaras fired a 43 and a 45, respectively, and freshman Rylie Schurter added a 46 to round out the top four scores for Central. All four finished in the top 15.
Luloff’s 38 was one shot back of the tournament winner, Plano’s Rylie Loux (37), while Jean finished fifth, Kalamaras placed ninth and Schurter was 12th overall.
“I was a little nervous to start,” said Luloff, who bogeyed the first hole. “But once the nerves wore off, I was hitting the ball solid. I kept hitting the fairway most of the time. This course isn’t very long, but you have to be accurate. It’s not forgiving.”
Luloff ended up making par on six of nine holes, and recorded a birdie on the par-5, 406-yard No. 2.
Central also received a strong score from sophomore Megan Selby, who carded a 49. Selby’s score would have been the top finish on three out of the remaining 11 teams.
“Those are some really nice scores,” Tigers coach Kathy Speaker said. “That’s what I’m trying to find out – who’s been working on their game. I know Megan has been working hard all summer and it showed today, and Rylie was a very nice surprise. She’s been taking lessons and playing all summer also. Those scores made a big difference.”
Leading the way for Huntley was senior Gillian Young, who finished in sixth overall with a 44.
Young said she was anxious because her scores had been higher coming into the meet than they were over the course of the summer, when she won the McHenry County Junior Golf Association’s Tournament of Champions.
“I’ve been going through a rough patch in my game recently,” Young said. “But towards the end of today, it got much better and I felt more like myself. Now I have way more confidence than when I started.”
Also for the Red Raiders, Caroline Giorgi was one shot behind Young with a 45 and placed eightj, Lexi Lowitzki recorded a 48 and Katie Weidner had a 59.
Sydney Goll shot a 46 to lead Jacobs, followed by Stephanie Fiorentino (49), Nicole Durben (54) and Julia Beaugureau (68). Durben also won the award for closest to the pin on the par-5, 403-yard No. 4.
For D-C, Kylie Kost and Madeline Hunsberger each shot a 61, Brooke Hayes carded a 67 and Mikki Frye had a 68.