Lexi Harkins had few expectations heading into the Illinois State Women's Amateur Championship at Crestwicke Country Club in Bloomington. There is a good chance she will have expectations in the future if she competes in it again.
Harkins, a recent Crystal Lake Central graduate who will golf for North Carolina, won her quarterfinal and semifinal matches Thursday to advance to Friday morning's championship flight final.
Nothing was easy about Thursday's matches. Harkins was even with her opponent in both matches heading to the 18th hole. Harkins won the 18th in both matches to win, 1 up.
In her quarterfinal match, Harkins beat Abby Luchtenburg of Geneva. Harkins hit her second shot on No. 18 from a fairway bunker to within 25 feet of the pin and sank her birdie putt to advance to the afternoon semifinals. Harkins was 2 down through 14 holes in her semifinal match before rallying to beat Nicole Rae of St. Charles.
"I really just want to keep how I have been playing all week," Harkins said. "Today was definitely a test, but match play can be like that. I'm happy to be in the final two and am excited to get back out there tomorrow."
Harkins will tee off at 9 a.m. Friday against Hui Chong Dofflemyer of Belvidere. Dofflemyer lost to Hampshire's Taylor Ellett in last year's second flight championship match, while Harkins is competing in the event for the first time.