DeKALB – Kishwaukee Country Club entered as the favorite on its home course at the 97th annual Ladies Lincoln Highway golf tournament.
The DeKalb course did not disappoint.
Led by the 1-2 punch of Mya Groza and Emma Carpenter, Kishwaukee seized a 19-point lead at the midway point of the tournament on Friday.
All eight players in the Kishwaukee lineup finished on the plus side in the best-against-bogey event, and with the two poorest scores thrown out, finished with a +66 score. Timber Creek (Dixon) is next at +47, with Prophet Hills (+11) the only other team in the eight-team field to be on the plus side.
Kishwaukee is looking to defend the title it won last year at PrairieView in Byron.
“Emma and I played together on Wednesday to prepare, and we talked about that,” Groza said. “We talked about how important it is to win here. Everybody get in the positive numbers because we know this course. The superintendent has got it in great shape right now, and it’s just fun to be out here playing.”
Groza, who won the event in 2016, led the field with a best-against-bogey score of +16, one more than Carpenter, the defending champ who will be a freshman at Minnesota this fall.
“I didn’t score too well today, but the points game worked,” Groza said. “A lot of member knowledge, knowing how to read those double-breakers helped me out a lot.”
Ruth Heal (+12), Joan Burger (+9), Donna Martin (+7) and Allison Yohanan (+7) had the other counting scores for Kishwaukee.
Timber Creek was paced by Patty Head and Bella Heintzelman, who each stand at +11.
Also for Timber Creek, Kristie Pultorak (+8), Mandy Curia (+6), Mimi Boysen (+6) and Nikki Masini (+5) had the other counting scores.
It is an exciting time for the Dixon course, which is set to reopen his weekend after being closed for about a year and a half.
“Second behind Kish always feels like first,” Head said, “so I think we’re very pleased. We’re thrilled because Timber Creek is opening up this summer and we were able to put together a good team with the young girls and some of us not-so-young girls. We’re very pleased. We’re very excited for tomorrow and beyond.”
Prophet Hills’ top performers were Shelly Felske (+6), Cathy Verhulst (+5), Karen Wiersema (+2) and Kris Zschiesche (+2).
Rock River Golf and Pool is fifth as a team at -4. Deena Gallentine (+5) and Desa Richards-Smith (+3) are leading the way for the Rock Falls course.
Sunset Golf Course is seventh with with a -19 score. Abi Scheidecker and Ali Scheidecker are each at +6 for the Mount Morris club.
Ladies Lincoln Highway Tournament
1. Kishwaukee +66
2. Timber Creek +47
3. Prophet Hills +11
4. PrairieView -1
5. Rock River -4
6. Indian Oaks -12
7. Sunset -19
8. Deer Valley -39