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Local golfers overcome adversity to advance to sectionals

McNABB – The two local players who advanced out of Wednesday’s Class A Putnam County Girls Golf Regional at Edgewood Park both overcame atypical, recent adversity.

Coal City’s Alyssa Erickson, who shot a 102, was a week removed from tearing her MCL and possibly her meniscus.

Hailey Hoaglund of Morris, who carded a 110, felt OK physically Wednesday. That has not been true for much of the season, as Hoaglund has battled injury of her own and illness. She also had a recent death in the family cut into her practice time.

Both golfers were the only ones to enter from their schools.

The only local team that competed, Seneca, carded a 516, which was not enough to advance. None of its five individuals qualified for the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Sectional either.

Wearing a heavy brace, Erickson said she left her driver in the bag for the entirety of Wednesday’s round. She estimates she lost 50 yards of distance with some clubs.

“I had to change my swing completely, because I can’t really turn, so it’s all upper body, all arms, so I can’t hit it as far,” Erickson said. “I was pretty happy with [the score]. I don’t think I could have done much better.”

Hoaglund did not have such an ailment holding her back, but she had very little time to prepare.

She said she was able to sneak in a recent practice rounds, but for the season, she has only been able to play twice in competition. She said she had only completed four nine-hole rounds in the four weeks prior to the 18-hole regional.

“I definitely did not play as good as I have over the summer,” Hoaglund said. “[Morris boys player] Justin Larsen actually told me, he was just like, ‘You know, you don’t have much time to prepare for this. Just go out there and don’t think. Just don’t think, just do it.’ ”

Seneca counted a 120 from Natalie Hamilton, a 124 from Jacquelyn Newberry, a 126 from Samantha DeGraaf and a 146 from Heather Vroman. Hannah Cisco also competed for the Lady Irish, totaling a 160.

“Early on, I thought a couple of them had a chance individually to make it out, and it didn’t work out that day,” Seneca coach Bryan Erickson said. “Our girls played the back side last, and that is the tougher side, and that kind of seemed to be their downfall for the day. There’s a couple tough holes back there, and they didn’t play those well.”

The medalist for the tournament was Sarah Maddox of Reed-Custer, who carded an 82, and the winning team was Putnam County with a 388.

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