Tir leads Girls Golf to Conference Championship

Talented class of 2019 looks to win second straight state title


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The six varsity golfers celebrate a dominant conference win

There are three constants in the CSL South: death, taxes, and New Trier Girls Golf winning its conference title.

The Trevians came out on top on Sept. 26 “to the surprise of no one,” per Des Plaines’s Journal & Topics. They finished with a total of 318 strokes, thrashing the competition; the second place Glenbrook South Titans ended up at 365.

Pacing the Trevians and the rest of the conference with a score of 73 was senior Penelope Tir, and this is the expected outcome for every time the team participates in any competition. 

Tir was the 2017 individual state champion as a Junior and she led New Trier to the team title as well, and has been contributing to the team since she attended the Northfield campus.

“I definitely have to say winning state individually and as a team was a pretty cool experience, and other than that, I would say winning sectionals with a 71 my freshman year or shooting a one under par 71 at Bonnie Brook golf course in sectionals of that year,” Tir explained.

Before winning the state championship, Tir tied for sixth as a freshman and tied for fourth as a sophomore, according to the Chicago Tribune, improving between each season.

“The most important thing for me is competition,” she said. “The high pressure environment that comes with tournaments has provided me with the focus and drive that I feel is needed when playing golf.”

Tir attempts to replicate these intense situations when practicing, often with her sister, Audrey, who is also on the team. The younger Tir, a sophomore, finished third with a score of 79 at the recent Champaign Invitational, at which New Trier won first place (they finished with an astounding 307, fifteen strokes ahead of second place Prospect). She came in third at conference as well.

While Tir headlines the class, this group of seniors has more than made their mark on New Trier Girls Golf. Abbie Kaestle, Lizzie Kenter, and Molly Van Gorp have been competing at the varsity level consistently for the last few years. Audrey Tir and Junior Olivia Siebert round out a strong roster for the Trevians.

“I am so pleased with how my senior class has done. Starting from our first year when [Penelope], Lizzie, and I were the little freshman on the team, to now when we’re seniors and role models for the younger girls,” said Kaestle, who finished second at both recent tournaments.”

Kaestle completed her rounds at conference and Champaign in 79 and 78 strokes, respectively.

“After winning conference, we’re hoping to make it through both [regionals and sectionals] and be on our way to state. But nothing is given in a sport like golf,” she said.

Tir described regionals and sectionals as “easy,” given their competition, and she said that they see repeating as state champs as achievable. There is, however, an added challenge that comes with a mission to go back-to-back.

“There is definitely some pressure as returning state champs because other teams have their sights on us,” said Kenter. “The thing about our team is that in past years we have really pulled it together before the run at state and I’m hoping we can do the same this year. Going out on a state championship would be amazing and I hope we can.”

Kenter also added that the Trevians will face newfound competition that they may not have had to deal with last fall. Barrington has a “fairly young but impressive” team and Saint Charles North is “loaded with seniors,” per Kenter.

Reclaiming the state title is no small task and they will have a target on their back going forward.

Barrington especially will be out for revenge after coming in second at state last season by a mere ten strokes over 36 holes.

“Winning the state tournament is the ultimate goal,” agreed Tir, “but I think another important one is that we just want to play our best golf and not leave any shots out on the course. Our team is more than half seniors, so we just want to keep the momentum from last year and have a great senior year.”