, 2022-07-29 13:29:38,
ROCKFORD — Changing from match play to stroke play means the Greenberg sisters won’t go head-to-head this year in the Greater Rockford Women’s Classic.
Not technically, anyway.
But the two Boylan golfers remain the players to beat — as they so often do in high school matches.
Ella, a senior, birdied her last two holes at Ingersoll to shoot even-par 71 Friday in the first round of the Women’s City. That gives her a three-stroke lead over her junior sister, Eva, whom she eliminated in the first round of match play a year ago.
Kayla Sayyalinh and Kyra Simon are another three strokes back in the three-day, 54-hole tournament, which moves to Sandy Hollow on Saturday and Aldeen on Sunday.
“It’s pretty cool,” Ella said. “Eva played really well today. I am happy for her.”
Ella has usually had the upper hand in this sibling rivalry, but Eva won the sectional title her freshman year at Boylan.
“I like playing with Eva,” Ella said. “We’re really good friends, too. And we’re really competitive with each other. We like friendly competition.”
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Ella Greenberg almost drove into trouble on 18, but wound up making birdie instead. She almost pulled her drive out of bounds on the 258-yard par-4, but hit a chip from just right of the clubhouse to the front fringe and drilled a 10-foot birdie putt that circled the hole and dropped.
“I would have been on the green if I hit it straight, but I hit it just a little left,” she said. “I was just short of the cart path; past the cart path is OB. I had a hard chip from a downhill lie. It stopped short. My putt was by a sprinkler head. I just wanted to get one close to par out. I was not expecting that one to go in.”
Eva played the back nine in even par but her big sister did even better, shooting 2-under on the back of the 5,700-yard layout.
“I didn’t hit too many fairways on the back — or greens,” Ella said. “I got up and down a lot. This course is really hard to hit greens. You have to hit it short and have it roll up. I am used to sticking it right next to the pin and having it spin. It was so hard to judge.”
Sayyaliinh, the defending champion, made six consecutive bogeys on the front, but birdied two of her final three holes of the day to move into a third-place tie at 77.
“It wasn’t the best I’ve played, but I tried to make the best of it,” Sayyalinh said. “The greens just didn’t want to stick….
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