Hillsboro’s Alex Frailey accomplished a first on Thursday, Sept. 30, when she qualified for the IHSA sectional golf tournament, but before she did that, Frailey had another first she had to get under her belt.
After finishing 18 grueling holes at Belk Park Golf Course in Wood River with a 95, Frailey found herself in 20th overall and tied for ninth amongst golfers not on one of the top three teams. The problem was that Greenville’s Rachel Ronat, Highland’s Maci Miles and Carrollton’s Emma Kallal found themselves in the same position, meaning a playoff would have to be held to determine who received the final two sectional qualifying spots.
With the rest of the tournament decided, all eyes turned upon Frailey and company, with well over 100 spectators (golfers, coaches and their families) watching the quartet’s every move.
“Honestly, I was just praying a lot. I was very nervous,” Frailey said after the playoff hole. “I think the most people I’ve ever had watching was like three sets of parents. I feel like it built up to that first drive. My entire body was trembling when I stepped up there.”
Despite the nerves, Frailey looked like a veteran on that first drive as she striped one down the middle about 275 yards from the tee box. Her second shot was near a bunker and a little short of the 100 yards she needed to the pin, but Frailey chipped onto the green and two-putted to finish the hole with a bogey.
That would prove to be good enough to end the playoff after just one hole as Kallal also bogeyed, while Miles and Ronat double bogeyed the hole.
“Alex was clicking on all cylinders today,” Coach Son Clayton said. “Alex was crushing her drives so she had short irons to the green all day. She played outstanding.”
As a team, Hillsboro finished the day with a 446, coming in 11th out of the 13 full teams who competed at the Civic Memorial Regional.
Senior Meagan Jorn shot a 55 on the back nine to start the regional and a 50 on the front nine. Her 105 would be tied for 38th and 10 strokes away from the final sectional qualifying spot. It was a tough end to the season for Jorn, who had hoped to continue what had been a stellar season in the next round of the postseason.
Sam Frailey, who may have been the second most nervous person at Belk Park when her sister teed off in the playoff, shot a 57 on a back nine, then a 56 on the front half of the course. Her 113 would be good enough for 51st out of the 74 competitors on Thursday.
Aurelie Granito rounded out the Topper lineup with a 72 on the back, but shaved 11 strokes off her score on the front nine for a 61 and a 133 overall.
“All the girls played well on the front nine, but had their struggles on the back nine,” Coach Clayton said. “I’m really proud of the girls. They’ve had a great season.”
For Frailey, the season continues on Monday, Oct. 4, when she will tee off at the Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo for the Gibault Catholic Sectional. The top three teams and the top 10 players not on a sectional qualifying team will advance to the IHSA State Finals at Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur on Oct. 8-9.
Sept. 30 at Wood River
Civic Memorial Regional
Belk Park Golf Course - Par 72
Girls Team Scores: 1. Alton Marquette 306*; 2. Litchfield 368*; 3. Father McGivney 369*; 4. Jerseyville 383; 5. Highland 385; 6. Roxana 391; 7. Carlinville 402; 8. Carrollton 413; 9. Staunton 415; 10. Civic Memorial 428; 11. Hillsboro 446; 12. Gillespie 482; 13. Lincolnwood 484. *Advance to Waterloo Gibault Sectional.
Overall Top 10: 1. Gracie Piar (Marquette) 65; 2. Audrey Cain (Marquette) 77; 3. Ava Bartosiak (Marquette) 80; 4. Laura Boston (Litchfield) 81; 5. Clancy Maag (Marquette) 84; 6. Lillian Montague (Marquette) 85; 7. Julia Stoble (Father McGivney) 86; 8. Carly Guinn (Litchfield) 87; 8. Ellie Hyten (Father McGivney) 87; 8. Jerra LaPlant (Jerseyville) 87; 8. Bria Tuttle (Jerseyville) 87.
Individual Sectional Qualifiers: 8. Jerra LaPlant (Jerseyville) 87; 8. Bria Tuttle (Jerseyville) 87; 12. Ava Strohmeier (Roxana) 89; 13. Sydney Watts (Roxana) 93; 14. Madi Darr (Jerseyville) 94;14. Megan Dunn (Carlinville) 94; 14. Reagan Lynn (Roxana) 94; 14. Sydney Coziar (Highland) 94; 20. Alex Frailey (Hillsboro) 95; 20. Emma Kallal (Carrollton) 95.
Litchfield (368) - 4. Laura Boston 81; 8. Carly Guinn 87; 14. Hailey Rentz 94; 43. Charlotte Gardner 106; 45. Olivia Fleming 107; 59. Lauren Monke 117.
Hillsboro (446) - 20. Alex Frailey 95; 38. Meagan Jorn 105; 51. Sam Frailey 113; 71. Aurelie Granito 133.
Lincolnwood (484) - 52. Jhia Walker 114; 64. Marisa Webb 123; 64. Kaylee Gerlach 123; 66. Shelby Hattenbach 124; 70. Anna Jones 129; 73. Jenna Matli 142.
Ramsey-Nokomis - 43. Coree Keagy 106.