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After shooting a round of 93 at Tuesday’s Class A St. Thomas More Sectional, the St. Bede senior thought her score would not be good enough to advance to this weekend’s state meet.
However, after a nearly 1 1/2-hour wait, Prokup’s 93 got her into a two-person playoff for the final individual spot against Mt. Zion’s Ashley Miller at Stone Creek Golf Course, the home course of the University of Illinois golf teams.
Unfortunately for the Lady Bruins senior, the playoff just didn’t go her way.
In near darkness, Prokup shot a 4-over-par 9 on the first playoff as Miller bogeyed to claim the final state spot.
“What a break,” St. Bede assistant coach Tom Payton said. “She’s worked hard all year long. She struggled but grinded out a heck of a season, and for it to come down to a one-hole playoff in the dark …”
In the playoff, things went awry for Prokup from the first shot.
She chunked her tee shot to the right and was positioned behind a tree, which she hit on her second shot.
Hitting from a different fairway, Prokup narrowly missed a bunker on Hole No. 5 before she hit onto the fairway on Hole No. 9 with her fourth shot.
After an approach shot, she chipped onto the green on her sixth shot before three-putting.
“Just one bad shot sent the whole thing spinning,” Payton said. “But I can’t ask for a better player. She stood up, kept going and she finished. We are very proud of her.”
Prokup’s performance was the area’s best at Tuesday’s sectional.
Prokup’s teammate Gabrielle Mendoza finished with a 111 as she was unable to advance.
“Gabby played hard today,” Payton said. “It was tough and the weather was hard, but everyone had to play with it.”
DePue’s Mercedes Ruiz shot a 141, while Putnam County shot a 457 team score to finish 10th out of 12 teams.
“I am real proud of how the girls played today,” PC coach Eric Ciucci said. “The wind was a huge factor and really caused scores to be a lot higher than what they could’ve been, but our girls hung in their and kept playing all day.”
Carly Gonet led PC with a 111, while Stephanie Wilson and Monica Monroe shot matching 113s. Kelsey Grosenbach added a 120.
“I am really happy,” Ciucci said of advancing to sectionals in only the program’s second season. “This is a great accomplishment advancing to sectionals and a great step for our program.”
Note: Prairie Central’s Jackie Duffy shot an 11-over 83 to earn medalist honors. Bishop McNamara shot a 370 to win the team title, while Mahomet Seymour (384) and Prairie Central (397) also advanced.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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