Tied with Lake Forest for the lead at the end of nine holes, the LHS girls golf team chose senior Marilyn Stone, their star player, to battle for the Lake Forest Invite trophy.
The two schools had already outshot Deerfield and Highland Park in match play, a style in which two girls from every school--8 players in total--play each hole together. The game is scored hole-by-hole, not by tallying up strokes. Each hole is a separate competition. Whoever wins the hole scores a point for her team. If the players tie, the score is halved. The team that scores the most wins the match.
After 18 holes, Lake Forest and LHS were tied with 5.5 points. To determine the winner between the two schools, each team had to pick a player to break the tie.
Stone and the Lake Forest girl were positioned on the golf green, 20 feet away from the hole, their objective to shoot the ball as close to the hole as they could. The player who shot the ball the closest would break the tie and win the match for her team.
Stone’s shot hit the green and nestled within four feet of the cup. The Lake Forest girl failed to surpass her accuracy, and the trophy was brought home to LHS.
No childhood Tiger Woods, Stone didn’t begin playing golf until 8th grade. Despite this, she went on to golf on varsity all four years at Libertyville.
“It came natural to me,” said Stone.
This is not to say that she did not put forth effort and tenacity.
Although the golf season does not go year round, Stone has lessons throughout the year, including private lessons every Sunday. In addition, team practices often last until 5:30 or even 6:00 p.m during the week, and tournaments consume the bulk of many Saturdays.
“All the hard work came to fruition for us at Regionals,” said Head Coach Greg Pedersen.
After the Lake Forest Invite win, the team headed to Regionals at Bittersweet Golf Course in Gurnee on October 6. Libertyville defeated 11 other teams to win with a score of 373, which qualified them for Sectionals.
“We didn’t expect to win Regionals. We wanted to get top three and move on to Sectionals. Winning was an added bonus. It was a fantastic thing that happened to us,” said Pedersen.
Stone won individually with an 82, her best score ever.
“Winning Regionals was a big surprise for me. When I told the team my score, they were all jumping for joy. They told me that I had won. I had no idea,” said Stone.
Sectionals, on October 11, were held at Ingersoll Golf Course in Rockford.
The team placed ninth out of 12 teams, a great success. Stone shot another 82. Collectively, the team shot a 357, 16 strokes better than their winning Regional score, a huge improvement for the team. Unfortunately, it still ended their season.
Stone was a single stroke away from individually qualifying for the State competition.
“I know she really wanted it. She spent four years trying to get to that point where she could participate in the State tournament. At the same time, we all had a really good day, the team performed really well, and her score helped our team. Her overall score was really good. I’m happy for the career she had. She’s a good kid,” said Pedersen.
Varsity finished the season with a record of 5-5. The team’s best score of the season was a 355.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to break 400. We did that early on in the season, and just kept getting better and better. We surpassed our expectations,” said Pedersen.
Photo courtesy of HR Imaging Partners Inc.