Girls State golf: L-W East’s Sterling red-hot headed to state
BY LOGAN MALLOY For Sun-Times Media October 17, 2013 8:26PM
Where and When: Friday and Saturday at Red Tail Run in Decatur.
Individual Qualifier: Sarah Maddox, Jr., Reed-Custer.
Where and When: Friday and Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur.
Individual Qualifiers: Alyssa Gromola, Fr., Providence; Bridgett Lynn, Sr., Lemont; Kelly Sterling, Jr., Lincoln-Way East.
Updated: November 19, 2013 6:42AM
There’s not much room for debate.
Kelly Sterling, a junior at Lincoln-Way East, is the hottest golfer in Illinois.
Heading into the Class 2A state tournament Friday and Saturday in Decatur, Sterling has the top combined score in postseason play.
Her 2-under-par 69 at the Joliet Central Regional, which came at Inwood in Joliet, was one of just two sub-70 scores submitted in a Class 2A regional or sectional this season. It also was an East school record, smashing the previous mark of 72 set by her sister, Kathy Sterling.
At the Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional five days later, Sterling topped the previous school record again, firing an even-par 71 to finish second behind Sandburg’s Frankie Saban (69).
“I’m playing really good right now,” Sterling said. “In my entire life, this is the best I’ve put it together.”
Sterling’s two-round total comes to a scintillating 140. The next closest is Loyola’s Isabella Kane (142), who is the only player in Class 2A to win regional and sectional titles this season. Prospect’s Ally Scaccia (143) and Waubonsie Valley’s Bing Singhsumalee (145) were close behind.
It’s an elite group, with both Kane and Singhsumalee having previously placed in the state’s top five.
Sterling, meanwhile, returns for her third state appearance. She tied Scaccia for 23rd last season when East went as a team and finished 29th as a freshman after qualifying individually.
“I just want to play my best — play like I’ve been playing — and see what happens,” Sterling said. “I can’t control what other people do.”
She gave an example: “Like (Monday), Frankie shot two-shots lower than me. I’m happy for her. It was awesome.”
Another seasoned player from the area making a return trip to Hickory Point in Decatur is Lemont senior Bridgett Lynn.
Lynn shot a 75 at the H-F Sectional, which was her second best score of the year.
“It’s definitely a great feeling,” Lynn said after qualifying. “I can’t even look at (Friday) yet. I’m still kind of here in the moment. I still have to practice and work on things.”
Coincidentally enough, Lynn, Sterling, Singhsumalee and Nequa Valley’s Jessica Yuen, the state’s runner-up last season, will tee-off in a foursome together Friday at 10:27 a.m.
Providence freshman Alyssa Gromola is the only other player from the area to advance. Gromola shot an 80 at the H-F Sectional, four strokes under the last qualifying spot.