OREGON — Needing a birdie to shift the momentum at the start of her back nine during the IHSA 1A Oregon Regional on Wednesday, Lady Hub senior Megan Thiravong grabbed her putter and lined herself up off the fringe of the 11th green at Silver Ridge Golf Course.
Thiravong’s tee shot landed on the north edge of the green, leaving a tough putt from the fringe on a slight downslope. Unnerved, Thiravong putted the ball slowly onto the green, confidently watching as the ball rolled its way into the bottom of the cup for a birdie.
The putt was a huge morale booster for Thiravong, who finished her tournament strong with 37 on the back nine to end the afternoon in second place with a final score of 77. Thiravong, who was one of two Lady Hubs competing in Wednesday’s regional, will represent Rochelle in the IHSA 1A Rock Falls Sectional at Rock River Golf & Pool on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Freshman Alivia Henkel carded 117, birdying the 11th hole for her first birdie of the season.
“I want to thank everybody in Rochelle for their support,” Thiravong said. “It was an amazing experience coming out here to play the regional tournament again and I thought the course was in great shape. I started with a par on the back nine, but that birdie definitely gave me a great confidence boost that allowed me to pursue through all of my tough shots today.”
Despite a triple bogey on the front nine, Thiravong stayed near the top of the leaderboard throughout the regional tournament. A birdie toward the start of the round helped Thiravong begin the morning under par, and consistent play on the back nine enabled the senior standout to earn her spot in the sectional next week. Dixon finished first in the regional behind Isabella Heintzelman, who brought home the individual championships with a 74.
“The course has mostly open fairways and open rough,” Thiravong said. “But there were definitely a few holes where I had to be a sharpshooter to make sure I didn’t hit the ball into the trees, into the bunkers or onto the hills. It’s a difficult course, but I love the challenge.”