St. Charles East girls golfer Jordan finds competitive edge
Paige Jordan’s P90X training for the upcoming girls basketball season lends itself to increased hours at XSport Fitness and more time to think.
Golf once provided that latter luxury, but because Jordan has been too busy to pick up a club since the Oct. 12 Class AA state meet, she only can ponder her game.
When it comes to reflecting, the St. Charles East senior and Kane County Chronicle Girls Golfer of the Year doesn’t mind adding a minute on the treadmill. Heck, make it two.
“I pretty much accomplished every one of my goals,” Jordan said. “I would have rather exceeded my goals by a lot more, but I have another four years to set new ones and start over.”
Jordan still is looking for a college program, and, in contrast to boys counterpart Dan Shepherd of St. Charles North, would be content with competing for a smaller school.
Golf began as a tagalong endeavor for Jordan, a time “just to go bother” her father, Ben, when he visited the range. Jordan was 12 then, and immediately became enamored. On the heels of two tournament titles in her senior season – including the AA Crystal Lake Central Regional crown – plus a return trip to state, why stop now?
“With golf, I just found the competive edge to want to try to be the best I could be. It was like a challenge in myself,” Jordan said. “I had a history with team sports and the challenge with others, so golf has been enjoyable to have that individual aspect.”
Saints coach Rod Osborne is glad Jordan caught the golfing bug. He found himself constantly noticing Jordan’s daily dedication, never letting it settle as second-nature in his mind.
Before long, Jordan’s habits trickled down to younger players, who flocked to practice ranges at Pottawatomie Golf Course – East’s home course – and other sites to chip and putt before and after rounds.
In the season-opening Barrington Invitational on Aug. 14, Jordan met one of her goals right away, capturing her first tournament title with a personal-best 71.
“She was more of a 1-5 person and placing in those events instead of 7-10 like she had done the year before,” Osborne said. “She just played in more summer tournaments and practiced. She really has a good work ethic. She likes to practice and likes to compete.”
Along with the rest of the Saints, Jordan played in tribute to former teammate Anna Daley, who died from complications of acute myeloid leukemia in May. This would have been Daley’s senior year.
While Jordan and Daley attended different middle schools, they became fast friends during their first East golf tryout and were longtime cafeteria lunchmates.
“Anna was a big part of me, and I just wanted to do her right, so I hoped I succeeded in showing her to all of our team,” Jordan said. “I hope she will always drive everyone to push themselves as hard as she pushed herself.”
Jordan frequently was paired with North senior Ariana Furrie this fall and enjoyed getting to know her better. Their final round together came at the weather-shortened AA state meet at Hickory Point Golf Club in Forsyth.
Furrie’s 79 tied for 16th. Jordan’s 80 tied for 23rd. Apart from the Upstate Eight Conference tournament, when medalist Furrie topped Jordan, 73-79, they usually were just a few strokes apart.
Jordan enjoyed the edge in the first two legs of the state series, including her regional title at Golf Club of Illinois in Algonquin, where she shot an 82. Playing in the final foursome on a slow-moving, drizzly day, Jordan and Furrie were plenty laid-back.
“With girls, sometimes they’re getting along, sometimes they’re not,” North Stars coach Chris Patrick said. “But with it being their senior year and having things to talk about, like college, I think the competitiveness still was there but the tension really wasn’t.”
A giddy Jordan would agree. Her only nemesis these days is P90X.
“All my basketball teammates are soccer players,” she said, “so I have a lot of competition.”