Schuldt’s game as bright as shoes, hat in seventh Lincoln Highway win
MORRISON – With her orange shoes and hat adorned with Puma logos, Ember Schuldt bore a bit of a resemblance to PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler on Saturday at the Women’s Lincoln Highway Golf Tournament.
The University of Illinois junior also played a bit like Fowler.
Leading by just one point in the best against bogey event after the opening round Friday, Schuldt went an impressive +17 in running away with medalist honors at Prairie Ridge Golf Course. She has won the tourney seven consecutive times.
The only time she didn’t win was the first time she played in the event as a 13-year-old in 2005 in Mount Morris.
“Every year, I come out and try to play my best,” said Schuldt, who competed for Emerald Hill. “It would be pretty neat to do the whole 9-year run. That’s been my goal when I first started. Hopefully I can keep this streak alive and get two more.”
Schuldt was at +14 after the first round, one ahead of Kishwaukee’s Bobbie Cesarek, but any suspense quickly dissipated over the opening nine holes Saturday. Schuldt scored pluses on each hole, while Cesarek went +6.
The only hole Schuldt did not get a plus on the back side was No. 12, where a poor drive led to a double bogey. She still finished at +31, six ahead of Cesarek.
“I knew Bobbie is a great competitor and I knew she would play well,” Schuldt said. “I made sure I was focused, I went to bed early [last night] and made sure I was ready for today. I just played well and got it done today.”
Cesarek finished +12 for the day and +25 for the tournament, one ahead of Clinton’s D’Anne Kroemer. Cesarek won best against bogey, while Kroemer was the first flight winner.
“I don’t know that Ember is catchable,” Cesarek said. “She plays such an incredible game. She’s a fabulous golfer, and it was just fun playing in the foursome with her.”
Kishwaukee, which led Timber Creek by just three (+33 to +30) after the opening round, rode its superior depth to the team title. The DeKalb club went +42 over the second round to finish at +75. Timber Creek had the second-best score the second day with a +27 to take runner-up team honors at +57.
“We had some rookies; this was kind of a new team for us,” veteran Kishwaukee performer Ruth Heal said. “I’m so proud of the girls. They did a fantastic job. They dug in as usual, and they came through.”
Cesarek (+25), Deb Norman (+22), Heal (+17), Kathy Leach (+8), Barb Moloney (+2), Debbie Schiavi (+1), Debbie Brue (-1) and Jane Kielb (-5) competed for Kishwaukee. Norman and Leach won the second and seventh flights, respectively.
Leading the way for Dixon were Mimi Boysen (+16), Kristie Pultorak (+16), Jean Hermes (+9), Lorri Nagy (+7), Terry Dunphy (+7), Kay Miller (+4), Mary Anderson (+3) and Gloria Butler (even). Nagy (fifth flight) and Hermes (eighth flight) were flight winners.
“We’ve finished in the middle of the pack in years gone by,” Pultorak said, “and to get second place for us was a huge accomplishment. First place, we thought it was within our reach [Friday], but [Kishwaukee] was dominant. Their top three, they’re worth every good comment you could make about them.
“We’ll take second, but we’re going to shoot for first next year.”
Other flight winners included Sandy Loos of Rock River (third flight, +9), Mary Amsbaugh of Rock River (fourth flight, +5) and Jan Shadduck of Clinton (sixth flight, +7). Shadduck won a three-hole playoff over Timber Creek’s Terry Dunphy.
Top 3 individuals
• Ember Schuldt (Emerald Hill) +31
• Bobbie Cesarek (Kishwaukee) +25
• D’Anne Kroemer (Clinton) +24
Top 3 teams
• Kishwaukee +75
• Timber Creek +57
• Rock River +42