For the second straight season, Molly Lyne advanced to the Class 2A girls golf state tournament at Hickory Point in Decatur. She fired a 6-over-par 150, including a 74 on the first day, and tied for 12th place – her second straight season with a top-12 finish (she took third as a freshman).
The Crystal Lake Central co-op golfer swept the Fox Valley Conference and McHenry County Tournament individual titles, firing an 80 at conference and 74 at county. She went on to place third at regionals with a 75 and then shot a 79 at sectionals to make it back to state for a second straight year.
As a team, the Tigers won the FVC Meet for the fifth straight season and the county title for an eighth straight year.
For her accomplishments, Lyne, who attends Cary-Grove, was chosen as the Northwest Herald Girls Golfer of the Year by the sports staff with input from area coaches. Lyne is the first Crystal Lake Central co-op girls golfer to earn the honor since Lexi Harkins in 2013, 2011 and 2010.
Lyne recently spoke with sports writer Alex Kantecki about her favorite sophomore memories, chowing down on Buffalo Wild Wings at state, why she thinks out of bounds in golf should be eliminated, and more.
Which professional athlete would you like to hang out with for a day?
Lyne: It would probably be either Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Lyne: I can't stand whistling at all. Little noises, like tapping ... I can't stand that.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions before you play?
Lyne: My practice routine before I play is different every time I think. I'll go to the putting green first, or I'll go to the driving range first. I won't hit a certain amount of a bucket of balls or a club. It's random each time.
Who on your team makes your laugh the most?
Lyne: Definitely Kat Bevill. That's the pretty obvious choice. You get to practice every day and you kind of look forward to hearing her talk. Every time that she talks, you can't help but laugh.
Who on your team inspires you?
Lyne: Definitely Rylie Schurter. Anytime we practiced together, she was always very motivated and always helped you out, no only with golf, but anything else, too.
What is your favorite professional sports team?
Lyne: Chicago Bulls. I used to watch them all the time when they were actually good. Now I'm getting more into hockey.
What’s the best piece of coaching advice you’ve ever received?
Lyne: This year, what helped me a lot ... my assistant coach told me that, 'You can't think of golf when you're on the golf course.' You need to think positive and, if anything, take your mind off it.
How did you get your start in golf?
Lyne: I got started in golf when I was six. My grandfather lives on a golf course (Rolling Green in Arlington Heights). On Father's Day, I was playing with this little plastic golf club and a tennis ball. He offered to help me start taking lessons. We got a set of golf clubs that day, and I've loved golf ever since.
What would be your dream job?
Lyne: Definitely a professional golfer. Other than that, I have no idea.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Lyne: I guess you could say I'm pretty good at pool. I quit basketball for golf, but I'm actually a decent shooter.
What is your most prized possession?
Lyne: I have this big trophy shelf in my room that has trophies throughout each year I've played. There will be times when I go back and just look at them ... one is from 2010. It's just cool to see how far I've come, so I guess each one of those has played a big part.
What was your favorite Disney movie when you were growing up?
Lyne: I didn't really watch a lot of Disney movies to be honest. I always liked watching Finding Nemo.
What sports moment was so huge that you’ll always remember where you were when it happened?
Lyne: I remember freshman year at state. It was the 12th or 13th hole. I think I was leading the tournament at the time, and my coaches brought me these Buffalo Wild Wings and I ate like 10 or 12 right before I teed off. I double bogeyed the hole, and I remember I was really mad after, but what I'll remember is how relaxed I was. I was leading the tournament, relaxed and eating Buffalo Wild Wings before I teed off.
What is your favorite wild animal?
Lyne: A monkey.
What would be your walk-up song if you played softball?
Lyne: Lose Yourself by Eminem.
If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would they be?
Lyne: Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer.
Who is your hero or inspiration?
Lyne: Definitely my grandpa (Art Fitzgerald) because he's put a lot of time and effort. He taught me the basics ... he got me started with golf.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?
Lyne: My favorite TV show currently is Chrisley Knows Best. My favorite movie is any one of the Harry Potter's, but specifically, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
If you could change one thing about golf, what would it be?
Lyne: I would say I think it's unfair the amount of rules there are. I think, specifically, I don't think there should be such a thing as out of bounds. I think you should keep the water, but I think they should take away out of bounds. You can hit it miles away from the hole, but still get back fine ... unless there's houses or something. I'm not a big fan of that, and you have to pay the price for it, so I don't like it.
What scares you?
Lyne: Deep water. I love swimming. If I know what's under me, I'm totally fine. But if I was in the middle of an ocean at night, I would die of fear.
What’s the nicest Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
Lyne: I remember my grandpa, one year ... I got a whole new set of clubs. That was really nice. Another thing I got was Bulls tickets, which was really cool. Other than that, a lot of clothes, a lot of golf stuff. One year I got a really cool drum set. When I was little, I was set that I was going to become a drummer when I grew up, but obviously I didn't.
What would be your perfect meal?
Lyne: Full slab of ribs with curly fries and a large Coke.
What will you remember most about this season?
Lyne: I will definitely remember sectionals. When I got there, I was mostly thinking about trying to beat last year. I would have felt like an idiot if I didn't make it to state, so I guess I was thinking mostly of myself. Then, when I realized (teammate) Rylie Schurter didn't make it, you saw the look on everyone's face and that was horrible to go through. When I saw Rylie, I kind of broke down myself. It put things into perspective that I'll have more years and it's about making sure everyone gets their chance.