Bree Veazey had 90 yards to the flag from light rough on the second hole at Coyote Run Golf Course.
“I took out my 90-yard club,” Veazey said, grabbing her 56-degree wedge. “And I hit it 106. All day today, I was hitting it short.”
That surprise meant Veazey, the lone senior on Marian Catholic’s girls golf team, was up against a fence, and up against it in general, in her sudden-death playoff with Carly Bettinardi of Mother McAuley.
Bettinardi nestled her approach from the fairway to about eight feet.
Veazey chipped brilliantly from against the fence line, but her pitch to the pin ran 18 feet by. She three-putted for triple bogey 7, and when Bettinardi also got down in three putts for a bogey 5, she grabbed the individual title at the Class AA regional. They had tied at 5-over-par 76.
It was Veazey’s second straight defeat in a regional playoff. Last year, she lost to teammate Sylvie Brick on the first hole of sudden death.
The good news for Veazey is that she and Bettinardi will meet again.
McAuley won the team competition with a total of 65-over-par 349 and Marian Catholic came in third at 388, a stroke behind Oak Forest. All three teams return to Coyote Run for next week’s sectional, where the competition will be more fierce.
“I’m happy that everybody gets to the sectional,” Veazey said. “But today, I bogeyed a lot more than I normally bogey. I left a lot of strokes out there, especially on the front nine.”
Veazey and junior Nina Nicpon, who carded a 7-over 78, led the Spartans. But the scores of the sophomores, Jacqueline Poe (113) and Emily Schenck (121), meant Marian outdistanced fourth-place Homewood-Flossmoor (407) by 19 strokes.
Regardless, all five H-F players, including low Viking Kendall Paris (90), advanced as individuals.
Meanwhile, Maggie Sloan of T.F. South, the lone individual in the field, not only advanced to the sectional, but led the 10 individual qualifiers with a 13-over-par 84. Sloan, who played on the Rebels’ boys team until last week’s South Suburban Conference tournament, has trouble adjusting to the shorter distance.
“I’m used to being so aggressive to keep up with the boys,” Sloan said. “Now I have to dial it down. I’d almost rather be playing back, because I’m used to it.”
Sloan will like next week’s set up, when Marian coach Linda Gilley will use a mixture of tees to add 317 yards to the course.
This was among the smaller fields in regional competition, with only six schools, and three of them didn’t have a full team of six players.
As a result, all but six players advanced to the sectional.