Charleston girls' golf

The Charleston Lady Trojan golf advanced to the IHSA Class 1A state meet Saturday by placing second in the Williamsville Sectional. Front row Haley Walker (left) and Bailey Taylor. Back row, Paige Chappell, Hannah Harpster, Abby Logsdon, Shekinah Moore and coach Deb Landsaw.

SPRINGFIELD -- A few days of shooting about 30 strokes over what the team is capable of at the Class 1A regional, the Charleston girls’ golf team had to find a way to bring their scores down and Mother Nature wasn’t going to help them.

After about 10 holes, play was suspended due to heavy rain and high winds. It was about an hour and a half delay before the golfers took the course again.

During the break, Charleston coach Deb Landsaw went over the scores with her players and had a simple message for them considering they still had to play through a light rain.

“I told them they had to be tough and gut it out. I had a good feeling we were in the top four, but I didn’t know what scores were coming in,” Landsaw said. “I felt like we were holding our own with the people in the foursomes. I told them we are in this and you just need to be and face the wind and rain and go for it and just make good shots.”

The Lady Trojans’ listened to Landsaw and put together a solid back nine. Some of the other teams Charleston battled with for a spot at state didn’t handle the conditions as well.

Charleston came in with a 368, a considerable improvement over its regional score, to finish in second place and earn a spot in the Class 1A state tournament. St. Thomas More won the sectional team title with a 352 and Macomb was third with a 381.

It’s the fifth season in a row Charleston has advanced to the 1A state tournament and the Lady Trojans are the defending champions.

“I’ve said all along they have the potential to shoot low. Each one of them have been able to shoot lower than what they shot that (regional),” Landsaw said. “They all have it in them.”

Bailey Taylor and Haley Walker, two seniors, both shaved plenty off their scores from the regional. Taylor, who shot a 109 at the regional, came in with a 95 on Saturday. Walker shot an 87 on Saturday, nine strokes lower than the regional.

“After the suspension, that’s when Bailey kicked it in and fired off four or five straight pars. To play in that stuff and get pars on some of those holes that were rough, Bailey came through in a big way,” Landsaw said. “Haley kept it together and wanted to have a lower score (Saturday). She came in with a lower score and did her part as a senior. I can’t say enough about Bailey and Haley. They did their job.”

Hannah Harpster shot a 92 for Charleston and Paige Chappell added a 94 to round out the scoring. Shekinah Moore had a 108 and Abby Logsdon had a 118.

“Abby’s highlight of the whole season is when she chipped out of sandtrap (Saturday). It was an elevated green and she couldn’t see the hole and her shot fell right in the hole,” Landsaw said. “She was beaming. She didn’t shoot very well, but had that one shot that made you feel great about your day.”

Okaw Valley’s Grace Harlin just missed making the state tournament with a 94 on the day. Sullivan’s Addison Darish had a 99 and Esther Miller shot a 121.

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Mike Monahan covers area sports for the JG-TC.

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