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Girls Golf: Fore! Megan Furtney, North Stars take fourth at state for third straight year

Duke recruit eighth individually for third top 10 finish

October 14, 2017- Forsyth, IL- St. Charles North's Megan Furtney watches her shot during Saturday's IHSA State Final Golf action. [Photo: Douglas Cottle/PhotoNews]
October 14, 2017- Forsyth, IL- St. Charles North's Megan Furtney watches her shot during Saturday's IHSA State Final Golf action. [Photo: Douglas Cottle/PhotoNews]

DECATUR, Ill. – St. Charles North junior Megan Furtney knew she'd have to put the ball in pretty tight to the pin to give her team a shot at cracking the top three in the Class 2A state golf tournament Saturday.

After teeing off the 18th at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur, her ball landed off the right side. With some obstruction, and using her six-iron, the wind carried her ball into the greenside bunker. She eventually bogeyed the par-four.

"I hit the shot I wanted to, and it just kinda ended up in an unfortunate spot," Furtney said.

North finished fourth as a team at the 2A state final for the third straight year. Furtney tied for eighth individually for the tournament after posting a 76 in round two, her third top 10 finish. Teammate Sarah Arnold, likewise, shot a 76 in Round 2.

Furtney, who finished at 4-over par for the tournament, analyzed minutes after turning in her scorecard she hit the ball "pretty average." Missed putts for possible birdie opportunities were the difference between a 76 and a 71 or 72.

North's girls team has competed at the state final for the fifth consecutive season, four of the five under the tenure of coach Irish Whalen.

"I couldn't be more proud of the team," Whalen said. "They'd been doing very well all season long. They stay composed the whole time [and] their confidence was good."

New Trier, led by individual champion Penelope Tir's even-par 144, won the state title with a team score of 603. The Trevians were 10 strokes ahead of runner-up Barrington. Hinsdale Central followed in third, North fourth at 625 (+49).

Emma Hayes (80), Katelyn David (80), Isabella Spinazze (87) and Brooke Bayless (89) rounded out the North scores for the second day.

North sat tied for second with Barrington after the tournament's first day. Furtney's even-par 72 had her tied for first along with Kira Wolf (Mattoon), Alyssa McMinn (O'Fallon) and Trinity Corwin (Schaumburg) heading into Saturday.

It was quite a comeback for Furtney.

Back in May, Furtney suffered a left pinkie injury that sidelined her for four months. Come October the Duke recruit positioned herself well for a spot among the top five at state.

In her freshman season at state, Furtney shot a team-best 147 for fifth in the state. She followed that up with a 148 her sophomore year, good for ninth.

This time around, she finished again with 148.

Spinazze, a North Stars' freshman, fought off the nerves of her first state meet and proved the stage wasn't too large.

Of course, blasting "Benny and the Jets" and the "Spongebob Remix" on the team bus before the day began helped lighten the mood for everyone.

Spinazze shot a career-best 86 on the first day and followed it up with 87 round two, a feat she was pleased with to cap the year with an experienced-laden team around her.

"I was pretty happy," Spinazze said. "It was definitely a lot of fun."

Though, the personal record didn't go without some aspects for improvement. At least Saturday, Spinazze mentioned having some trouble with the greens and putting. The wind, however, wasn't as much of a factor as she initally thought.

Spinazze will likely have plenty more opportunities for creating personal records moving forward, having three more years of potential state eligibility. For now, Spinazze will spend the winter practicing and building upon the solid foundation laid down.

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