Girls Golf: Stevenson’s Stephanie Miller wins rain-shortened Class 2A state final

Story Image (Left to right) Stephanie Miller, of Stevenson, Grace Kil, of Bufflo Grove, and Alexis Biedrzycki, of Lincoln-Way West, pose for pictures after medalling in individuals for the 2A Girls Golf State Finals at Hickory Point Golf Club, Saturday, October 13th, 2012 in Decatur, IL l Gary Middendorf~for Sun-Times Media
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Updated: October 13, 2012 6:38PM

Stephanie Miller didn’t celebrate when she rolled in the putt that clinched her second state title.

That’s because it happened a day earlier than expected.

Inclement weather marred the second day of the 2A girls golf state championship at Hickory Point Golf Club Saturday, with a four-hour delay forcing the round to be cancelled after only four holes of play. Because IHSA rules call for the medalist to be decided by the first-round scores, Miller’s 1-under 71 — capped off by a nondescript 2-foot par put on the 18th green Friday — became the winning total.

“I kind of had an idea it would be an iffy day today because of the weather,” said the Stevenson senior, who won her first state title as a sophomore in 2010 with a two-day total of 141. “I was talking to my dad and my coach about it (Friday) and we said, ‘OK, we’re going to go out and shoot a low first-day score, just in case.’ ”

Buffalo Grove senior Grace Kil and Neuqua Valley freshman Jessica Yuen finished tied for second at even-par 72. Yuen, who played with Miller, bogeyed the 18th hole on Friday.

Alexis Biedrzycki (Lincoln-Way West), Renee Solberg (Wheaton-Warrenville South) and Isabelle Kane (Loyola) finished in a three-way tie for fourth place at 3-over 75.

In an effort to avoid possible afternoon storms, the IHSA changed the format of Saturday’s final round to a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Miller started on the first tee and was at even par through four holes before she stuck her approach shot on the fifth to 10 feet.

That’s when the first lightning siren sounded.

“It was a straight putt, I really wanted to go make it,” Miller said. “It would’ve been a great competition, between Grace (Kil), Jessica (Yuen) and I.”

Officials attempted to restart play several times, and actually got players on the course once before the siren sounded again. The final attempt — at about 2 p.m. — was thwarted by the low rumble of thunder, eliciting an audible groan from the players gathered outside of the clubhouse.

Kil was denied a chance to make a title run in her final appearance at the state tournament. She was at even par when play was stopped, building on a solid opening round in which she made five birdies on the 5,779-yard Hickory Point course.

“When we were playing, I really thought I had a chance,” a composed Kil said afterward. “I’m actually pretty mad. I’m mad and sad because it’s my senior year. I really wanted to try all 36 (holes) and see what happens.”

New Trier won the team portion of the state tournament under the same circumstances, its first-day total of 313 beating the 317 posted by Prospect and Hinsdale Central’s 329 Friday.

The Trevians used four solid rounds in the 70s, led by senior Nerissa Denenberg’s 77, classmate Callie Nelson’s 78 and 79s from sophomore Lois Suh and junior Lexi Salberg. The title was New Trier’s sixth since 2000 and second in the past three seasons.

The Trevians finished second at state last year.

The titles “all feel really good,” New Trier coach Scott Fricke said.

Hinsdale Central got a 76 from senior Jacqueline Bruns on Friday but didn’t get a chance to mount a comeback Saturday.

“We did not play our best,” coach Janelle Marconi said. “We knew this weather was coming. … Our plan was to come out and just play like we’ve been playing, and we didn’t. There’s nothing else to say about it.”

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