If Isabelle Kane continues improving, she could follow some famous footsteps in the annals of Loyola girls golf.
The sophomore, already with a U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur bag tag, is on a similar path as 2008 Loyola graduate Nora Lucas, now a senior at Illinois.
Lucas arguably is the best girl to ever play for the Ramblers. She competed in a U.S. Women’s Amateur and recently won the Women’s State Amateur at Kishwaukee Country Club in DeKalb.
But Lucas never participated in a U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur, as Kane did this summer at Olympia Fields Country Club.
“That was a great experience, for sure,” said Loyola coach Jim Jackimiec, who’s been out following hip replacement surgery; assistant coach Heather Penn is taking charge in his absence. “Her being a sophomore, too, bodes well for the future,”
Kane has helped the Ramblers get off to a solid start this season. Her 78 led Loyola to a tournament title in Rockford last week. The Ramblers shot 327 to beat out defending state champion New Trier and Prospect, among others.
“We have a lot of talent,” said Jackimiec, whose Ramblers finished fifth in the state last season. “That win was a highlight for us, but we are not taking anything for granted. We hope to see some of those teams down the road.”
In the opener last week, Loyola shot 317 at Mount Prospect Golf Club, but the Ramblers lost by nine strokes to the host Knights, who placed fourth in the state tournament last year. Kane and Caroline Newell both shots 78.
“Any other time you shoot 317, you’re making some noise,” the coach said. “The girls took it in stride.”
Other players back for the Ramblers include senior Nina Puch and senior Teddi Weigel. Sophomore Taylor Gentzkow also hopes to contribute this year.
“She’s no surprise to us,” Jackimiec said of Gentzkow.
While the top is secure with Kane and Newell, Jackimiec said the rest of the spots are up for grabs every tournament.
“We don’t know what it will look like, but all of the girls in the lineup will be players,” Jackimiec said. “There will be no throw-ins.”