Charleston’s Madeline Sanders battled through a three-hole playoff Monday against two other golfers to qualify for the state girls tournament.

Teammate Delaney Meister and Mattoon’s Blair Powers also qualified during the IHSA sectional tournament held at Lincoln’s Elk Golf Club.

Powers finished sixth overall after shooting a fairly even nine-hole split of 43-42 for an 85 and Meister carded a 91 to take the ninth qualifying spot after finishing 13th. The top 10 scores, excluding players on the top three teams that advanced to state, earn a qualifying berth.

“Delaney struggled on some holes, but she has the ability to work through her mistakes and keep trying her best,” Charleston coach Todd Keating said. “Her mental approach to the game served her well today, as it kept her in the running to advance. She drove the ball well, but the greens were tough for her today.”

Mattoon’s Blair Powers (left) with her coach, Natalie Ambuehl.

Sanders finished her round on the 5,098-yard par-71 course at 92, tying her with Taylorville’s Sophia Robinson and Williamsville’s Zoey Beard for the final state qualifying spot.

Robinson was eliminated on the first playoff hole on the 312-yard par-4 No. 1 when she just missed her putt for bogey. After making their putts, Sanders and Beard next played the third hardest-rated hole on the course for the second playoff hole – the 380-yard, par-5 No. 6.

Sanders and Beard both drove long and were just short of the green after their second shots. Beard chipped to about 4 feet from the hole while Madeline chipped to within 6 feet. Both girls made their birdie putts.

This forced the playoff back to the first hole where both players reached the green in three strokes. Beard’s third stroke was a putt from the bunker, which left her about 8 feet from the hole. She two-putted for a bogey.

Sanders, though, sank a par putt from 4 feet to secure 10th place.

“It was a pleasure to watch,” Keating said. “Watching Madeline during the playoff was so satisfying because I remember her play as a freshman, and it amazes me how much her game has improved over these four years. Her calm demeanor and kindness towards other golfers will be sorely missed next year.”

Mattoon finished fourth, 10 strokes behind Effingham for the final team spot. The Green Wave had finished a stroke ahead of the Hearts to win last week’s regional title. Charleston was seventh with 420 strokes.

“The course was difficult, which resulted in higher scores than we expected,” Keating said. “This is primarily due to the greens being very quick.”


21ADDIE KROUSESt. Anthony81
44ALAINA ERVINPleasant Plains84
96KILEY TORRESRochester87
9MARAH KIRKEffingham87
117GRACE RECTORWaverly88
118ISABEL TOMRochester88
139DELANEY MEISTERCharleston91
1410MADELINE SANDERSCharleston92
1415SOPHIA ROBINSONTaylorville92
1416ZOEY BEARDWilliamsville92
1717ELLA TUMANEffingham93
1719KAITLYN SEYMOURRushville93
2020EMMA HALLTri-Valley94
2022BROOKE HARTMAN Mahomet94
2023JERSEY WESTNorth Mac94


1Quincy Notre Dame 360
2Mahomet-Seymour 373
3Effingham 376
4Mattoon 386
5Rochester 396
6Williamsville 398
7Charleston 420
8Mt. Zion 426
9Tuscola 429
10Paris 433
11Pittsfield 434
12PORTA 457