By DAVE LINK
Farragut senior Lexanne Halama didn’t play her best golf at the Division I Large Class state tournament on Oct. 6-7, but she wasn’t complaining.
She was simply glad to be playing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making the trip to Manchester for state.
Halama shot 5-over 149 and finished eighth while the Lady Admirals placed third at 18-over at WillowBrook Golf Club.
“I didn’t play my best, but I thought I did a pretty good job, and I thought the team did really well,” said Halama, who repeats as the 5Star Preps Girls Player of the Year.
“We had a great time down there. It was an awesome senior state experience, so we got to hang out and do some different activities, like social distancing, eating outside. It was just really fun, a different year, but fun.”
As a junior, Halama tied for third at state at 3-over and helped Farragut to a second-place finish, committing to play for Illinois not long after state.
Halama spent her offseason training, and the pandemic hit full force last March.
Golfing was one of the few activities deemed safe.
“Yeah, I was able to play,” Halama said. “Golf is a little bit different. You can social distance pretty easily, and you’re outside. So staying outside, I was still able to play some tournaments, and they had all these special rules to keep people safe.”
Halama remembers some uncertainty during the summer if Farragut – or any high school teams – would have a golf season.
“We weren’t sure back in the summer,” she said. “It was kind of up in the air, and nothing ever came out that said golf couldn’t be played. So as long as the school stayed green and didn’t go red, we were fine to go down to state, and thankfully we were able to get our season in.”
Halama earned medalist honors at the district tournament, shooting a 68 at Egwani Farms, and posted a 76 to win the region tournament at WindRiver.
At state, Halama shot 3-over 75 for the first round and 2-over 74 the second round.
The Illinois signee is currently in offseason workouts with fitness trainer Zack Kramer while also working with swing coach Suzanne Strudwick.
“Right now I started a fitness program, so my coach, Zach, has been really pushing me to get stronger and gain muscle mass,” Halama said. “We’ve been doing a lot of basic strength training and flexibility, which has already shown a big difference. I just started maybe last month, but I’m really enjoying it.”
She’s not neglecting her golf game, either.
“I’ve been working with Ms. Suzanne, working on trying to get the swing more consistent, and yardages more dialed in so that I don’t have such a wide dispersion,” Halama said.
Halama isn’t sure when her next tournament will be – perhaps in January or February – but certainly by March.
She can’t wait for the next chapter of her gold career playing for Illinois.
“I’m very excited,” Halama said. “I hope that all this COVID stuff clears up so that I’ll be able to go up there in August, but right now, we just don’t know if everything’s going to be normal up there.”