Antioch Class of ’89er shoots 72 to win women’s golf tourney

This is a day for turning back the clock.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, 1988, Waukegan East High School hosted a girls golf tournament at Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan.

The top teams in that event were Regina Dominican and Homewood-Flossmoor who, a month later, would finish 1-2 in the team scoring at the IHSA state tournament.

The individual winner was home-team hero Kim Hodge, who shot a 76. A month later, she would finish fourth in the individual competition at state.

Also in the field that September day in 1988 was Antioch High senior Ali Rogala, who tied for third in the individual scoring.

Though Antioch High had a girls golf team back then, it wasn’t any kind of state-title contender, and the name Ali Rogala quickly fell off the radar screen.

But this week at ThunderHawk Golf Club in Beach Park, Rogala not only was back on that screen, she dominated it.

The Hawk — a top-end Lake County Forest Preserve-operated facility — was the site of the Lake County Women’s Amateur golf tournament, and it was Rogala who was flying solo — crushing the field in the 18-hole, one-day event with an even-par round of 72.

That was four shots clear of Laura Carson of Lake Forest, and seven better than Kelly Voight of Palatine and Judy Greskovich of Libertyville, who tied for third.

Rogala now lives in west suburban Glendale Heights (if she was a high-school kid living there now she’s played for one of the Glenbard High Schools), which obviously is a long way from Lake County.

But the County Women’s Amateur is an open tournament, and with the “Lake County” referring to the event being played on one of the area’s top courses rather than the residence of the participants.

Rogala once worked at Bonnie Brook GC in Waukegan, and she played ThunderHawk like it was her home course, firing a 2-under 34 on the front side to take command of the tournament.

“I got off to a really good start.” she said. “My irons were dead on the pin on the front nine. The birdies I made weren’t long putts. It was just really good iron play on the front side.”

After that, it was just a matter of not coming unraveled on the back nine.

“After I had such a good front my plan was just to play a solid back. If I could do that I know I’d be in the running,” she aid. “This is the best tournament round I’ve had this year.”

Rogala said she knew the roads to take to get to ThunderHawk, even though it didn’t open until 1998. “I great up in Lake County … went to Antioch High School … many many years ago I was on the girls golf team there,” Rogala said. “I also worked at Bonnie Brook maybe 22 years ago, so I’m familiar with the area.”

Carson shot 38-38—76 to finish second, and the Lake Forest resident was happy with the showing.

“I was happy with my round. I had a few early bogies I could have done without, but otherwise it was good,” she said.

Also enjoying the day was Libertyville’s Greskovich, who tied for third with a 79.

“I was playing with two great girls — Pee Wee McCormick and Marianne Zorich. Both of them are so much fun, and it just kind of relaxes you when you can talk to someone during the round about something other than golf,” she said. “I had a good time.”

Defending champ Meg Cavanaugh of Northbrook shot an 85.