Recent Geneva graduate Abby Luchtenburg advanced to the quarterfinals of this week’s IWGA state women’s amateur at Crestwicke Country Club in Bloomington, falling Thursday to eventual champion Lexi Harkins. Luchtenburg will descend on the area again soon enough; she committed to Illinois State after not competing for Geneva in her final two high school seasons. Catching up with Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley, Luchtenburg addressed her agenda and summer outlook as part of the latest edition of the Weekend Chit-chat. Here’s an edited transcript:
How tight was your match against Harkins?
It was close. We were sharing pars and I was making some good up-and-downs. She was two-putting. She was putting really well. We kept it close in the front nine. I was 1-up at the turn and was able to go 2-up on her going into 14, but then she managed to pull a couple of birdies going into the last few holes. ... It was a battle. We both wanted it.
Have you had much experience playing against her?
She’s a really sweet girl. We’ve played at some other tournaments. … She’s a good player and I knew it was going to be a tough match, but I was really excited to play her.
What is your tournament schedule for the rest of the summer?
You know, I’m going to try to get in a couple more. I’m in a couple classes at a community college to try to lighten the load for the fall. I’m going to try to go from five classes to four [a semester] … but I’m going to do a couple tournaments that hopefully will not conflict with my attendance in those courses.
What drew you to Illinois State?
The coach, Darby Sligh. She’s great. She really knows how to work with players and turn them into winners. I knew the majority of the girls on the team already based on playing with them in the summer or junior tournaments. Like Hayley Guyton of Kaneland and Renee Solberg of Wheaton Warrenville South. … The coach is great, my major was there. I really feel like I belonged and was really excited about it after my official visit, and all that combined really made the decision pretty easy.
What is your intended major?
I’m going to major in speech pathology. … It’s been fairly recent. I have a family friend who’s a speech pathologist and just hearing her talk about it and do some research turned my interest to that field. … My dad’s cousin has a private practice where I’m hopefully going to do some shadowing there this summer.
To what extent did you keep in touch with Geneva golfers during the last half of high school?
Yeah, I know the girls well on the golf team. Freshman and sophomore year, I was on the golf team and then junior, senior year I wasn’t. I did a couple of classes at a community college and was focusing on my schoolwork so I wasn’t competing on the team the last two years, but they’re great and the coaches were great and I’m definitely going to keep in touch. Yeah, it was a good experience. … I did some MAJGT and AJGA events to stay competitive in my summers and my falls and started back up in the spring and maybe one or two in the winter to stay competitive.
Do the Redbirds get to Crestwicke for any events?
We might play there a few times. … Lauren English is on the team at ISU. Her family owns the course, so maybe we’ll go there. But our home course is Weibring [Golf Club in Normal].