GENOA – The emotions were different this time when Genoa-Kingston’s Andrea Strohmaier missed a playoff putt.
Last season, a missed playoff putt at sectionals ended her sophomore campaign. A missed putt in a playoff with Marengo junior Danielle Tucker on Wednesday at the Class A Johnsburg Regional led to a second-place finish after each golfer posted an 81 in regulation.
The euphoria of the Cogs winning their first regional title, and the belief that she has the game to compete with the top prep golfers in the state, has Strohmaier primed for today’s Genoa-Kingston Sectional at the Oak Club of Genoa.
“It was sad to be so close and not hit that putt,” Strohmaier said. “I lost it all so quickly. It was just a matter of two seconds and the playoff was over. But as a junior I have a lot of confidence because I scored better than a lot of seniors and a lot of other players. I believe I am playing the best golf of my career.”
Armed with home-course advantage, G-K played a practice round Friday for course reconnaissance. Pin locations are marked and the Cogs’ deep lineup – Strohmaier’s second-place finish was backed up by Emily Wakeley’s third-place showing and Katie Thurlby’s 99 – will enter with a solid strategy to advance to state.
“We will go in-depth this weekend,” G-K coach Darrin LaForce said. “We will buckle down and really examine the course. But, we still want to go out and have fun. That’s the attitude that got us here.”
The Cogs’ strength this year has been the ability to avoid penalty strokes. G-K keeps the ball in play even if it means clubbing down or sacrificing distance with a shorter swing.
“We try to keep it down the middle even if it means we don’t hit a big club,” Strohmaier said. “As a team, we are great at supporting each other. We compliment each other when we hit great shots. When we struggle, we are right there to encourage each other.”
Sycamore junior Carly Hudon will play in today’s Class 2A Burlington Central Sectional along with Northern Illinois Big 12 East rival DeKalb freshman Maggie Russell.
After a regular season spent as the No. 7 golfer on the Barbs’ boys freshman/sophomore team this fall, Russell has been primed for a postseason run. The transition to playing against girls in 18 hole meets was made easier when she qualified to play in a pair of regular season invitationals.
“Maggie played a lot of golf from the white tees this season,” DeKalb coach John Cordes said, “She has a lot of ability and believes she can post a good score.”
A personal-best 92 propelled Indian Creeks’ Virginia Filicetti to the Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Sectional. She will be joined by teammate Lauren Frances and Hinckley-Big Rock’s Caitlyn Fecht.