A circular table near a door leading to the patio in Timber Creek Golf Club’s restaurant, Bogey’s Bar and Grill, was the meeting spot for Timber Creek’s Women’s Lincoln Highway team.
The eight ladies, dressed in purple, wanted to go over plans for the 92nd Lincoln Highway Tournament – held today through Saturday at Sunset in Mount Morris – but couldn’t help but let the conversation drift like a slice off the tee slowly loses the fairway.
One particular story that had the ladies laghing was of the first Lincoln Highway Tournament Patty Head competed in. Head, now the club’s top golfer, remembers having a tough time while playing as a 17-year-old with a woman who was a stickler for the rules, but wouldn’t speak up until Head broke them.
On one hole, Head teed off in the wrong tee box, only to be told to re-hit and take a penalty. On another hole, Head had to re-do a 20-foot putt because of an issue with placing and replacing her ball marker.
“I made the putt the first time and was so happy, then she told me I had to bring it back and putt again,” Head recalled while acting out the story as her teammates laughed. “I actually sunk it again, and I looked over at my stepdad who was caddying and he pumped his fists.”
While the fountain of stories continued, the eight ladies talked about making new memories at this year’s tournament, with a few new players on the squad.
For the first time in several years, Timber Creek had to hold qualifying rounds this year in order to determine the eight-person team. Fourteen golfers were interested, which was the highest number in years.
“It’s great to see that this year,” said Mimi Boysen, who is slated as the team’s fourth golfer. “We were begging people in years past to play.”
Since Oregon Country Club closed two summers ago, other local courses have seen an influx of golfers.
One notable addition to Timber Creek is Alina Llanas, a sophomore on the golf team at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois.
Llanas golfed on the boys team at Polo High School for 4 years, and golfed during her freshman year at McKendree. She qualified for the IHSA girls state meet as a senior with the Marcos.
When she returned home from college this year, she got a job working at Timber Creek and decided to make the course her home course after enjoying the people and the atmosphere. She was welcomed right away, and even prodded by some to try out for the Lincoln Highway Tournament.
Llanas golfed with Gloria Butler, the team’s No. 8 golfer, and Head during one qualifying round, and played with Kristie Pultorak in another.
“We’re really excited to have Alina,” Pultorak said. “She is a great golfer, and we need some young, good golfers to help us out.”
Added Boyson: “We need some young blood in this tournament. Other clubs have young players, so we’re excited to have her part of our team.”
This will be Llanas’ first time golfing in a Lincoln Highway Tournament, and she will tee off at 8:46 a.m. today along with the other No. 2 golfers from the other six clubs.
“I am more than excited,” Llanas said. “These ladies have made me a nice home here. I love them. Patty was so goofy, she’s so funny, and everyone was so welcoming.”
Terry Dunphy, who has golfed in 43 Lincoln Highway Tournaments, will be back this year after missing last year’s event due to an illness. Boyson also missed last year’s event after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Of all the things I missed,” Boyson said, “this was the biggest thing. This is so much fun, and I am so excited to be back. It’s really fun, and the camaraderie is really fun.
Timber Creek Lincoln Highway team
No. 1 Patty Head
No. 2 Alina Llanas
No. 3 Grace Osborn
No. 4 Mimi Boyson
No. 5 Kay Miller
No. 6 Kristie Pultorak
No. 7 Terry Dunphy
No. 8 Gloria Butler