Three Rockford area women advanced to the Championship Flight at the Illinois Women's Amateur Championship at Aldeen Golf Club, but all three went down Tuesday before the quarterfinals.
Harlem grad Carson Racich took on Hui Chong Dofflemyer in an all-Rockford first round match. Racich, who plays NCAA DI golf, built a three hole lead before Dofflemyer closed the gap by winning holes 12 and 13. Dofflemyer also hit a clutch birdie on 16 to stay alive, but Racich won the match on 17, finishing off the woman who beat her in the Women's City Classic two years ago.
Freeport High School rising senior Maxine Nesemeier took on defending champ Kelly Sterling, who plays at UIC, in the first round. Nesemeier pushed the top seed, taking her to 18 holes before Sterling sealed the deal. That set up a second round match between Sterling and Racich. Racich was down by one hole at the turn, but Sterling put her foot on the gas over the next five holes to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals.
In some of the other flights, Boylan grad Jesse Slattery advanced to the semifinals of the 1st Flight while playing in her first competitive tournament of the season. Rising 7th grader Bella Pettersen outlasted a tough test from a veteran golfer to advance in the 2nd Flight. Another middle schooler, rising 8th grader Ella Greenberg, had to play 20 holes to decide her 3rd Flight quarterfinal match. Greenberg beat Emily Marrs, who will play in college at Western Illinois next year. Greenberg had a chance to win in regulation, but Marrs won the 18th hole to square up the match. It looked like Greenberg would fall on the first extra hole, but she knocked down a clutch putt from the fringe of the green to set up a 20th hole. There she saved herself from a bad spot, and Marrs missed a putt that could have extended the match. Greenberg, Pettersen and Slattery tee off in their flight's semifinals Wednesday morning.