West Aurora’s Lange places 10th at DVC meetJordan Lange of West Aurora lines up her putt during the Dupage Valley Golf Tournament at Phillips Park in Aurora on Tuesday, September 27, 2011. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 27, 2011 7:18PM
When you’re not expected to challenge for a conference title, individually or as a team, you take pride in doing little things correctly during a round of golf — perhaps things you’ve practiced throughout the year.
The West Aurora girls’ golf team played host to the DuPage Valley Conference championships Tuesday morning at Phillips Park. They finished tied for fourth in the meet and fifth overall — that was to be expected. Blackhawks’ sophomore Jordan Lange shot 92 to finish in 10th — that was a nice bonus.
For West Aurora coach Chris Soulsby, seeing the execution of a shot and the progression of getting better throughout the course of a season was the sense of pride he’ll take away from the tournament.
“There are little things we learned like how to hit a sand shot when the sand isn’t fluffy, and you have to hit out of that hard sand, those little successes of like, ‘Oh, yeah,’” Soulsby said. “I saw Mackenzie (Fabrizius) do that today. She hit a great sand shot, took into account how hard the sand was and blasted out, getting good loft from about five feet away. Little things like that make you smile and you think, ‘Oh, you listened to me.’”
Fabrizius, a freshman, shot 99 on a day when the conditions made a challenging round for golfers of all skill levels. Wheaton Warrenville South’s Emily Johnson (78) and Renee Solberg (79) finished 1-2, leading the charge for the Tigers, who won their fourth straight DVC title.
Lange shot 45 on the front and 47 on the back and has a chance to shoot more towards the mid-80s at next week’s Neuqua Valley Regional at Naperbrook, provided the weather is a little more forgiving. The competition will be fierce, however, with teams like Waubonsie Valley and Metea Valley there.
“I said, ‘Don’t have any delusions you’re going to be the low freshman,’” Soulsby jokingly told Fabrizius, referring to Warriors’ freshman Bing Singhsumalee, fresh off a 73 and second place in the Upstate Eight meet.
The course was especially soggy from three days of rain preceding the tournament. A “lift, clean, place” rule was put in effect for balls in the fairway, while players were given relief from bunkers that had practically become water hazards.
“On one of the holes on the back, I completely walked past my ball, didn’t even see it,” Lange said. “It was in a ground-under-repair spot, dug in. I was like, ‘Oh, there it is.’”
Greens were actually in good shape. Player’s putts just needed a little mustard.
“You have to be able to adjust to the conditions,” Phillips Park club pro Jeff Schmidt said. “We knew it was a conference match and that we had to get it in. I think everyone is really happy with how well the course drained. I’m a little surprised too, I think.”
“I’m just looking for course management and hopefully them becoming smarter and better players throughout the year,” Soulsby said. “I want to see them improve on their own personal bests. That’s what I’m hoping for, but unfortunately when conditions show up like they are, the scores aren’t going to appear to be better than the beginning of the year.”