Like any golfer, Fenwick senior Amy Kucera has had her share of tough days on the golf course.
Although there’s no panacea for curing any golfer’s struggles during a given round, the Riverside resident has coupled a positive attitude and hard work to improve her game. In fact, she capped off her inspiring Fenwick career playing some of the best golf of her life.
In Round 1 of the Class 2A state finals, Kucera carded a 2-over-par 74, which tied her for tenth place only three strokes behind the leaders. Although she faltered a bit during the second round, Kucera still tied for 21st in the state out of 112 players with a score total of 154.
“I was really excited about going to state for the first time as a senior,” Kucera said. “I wasn’t quite surprised I made it to state, but I was proud considering all the time and effort I’ve put into golf.
“During the tournament, I just tried to keep the same mindset I’ve kept all year. Walking off the 18th green was very emotional for me because I knew it was my last high school round.”
Leading into the state finals, Kucera earned medalist honors in both a sectional and regional. She carded a 73 at the Schaumburg Sectional and a 78 at the Fenwick Regional.
The Friars missed qualifying as a team for the state tournament by just six strokes.
“The players on our team all improved and worked hard during the summer, which was reflected during the regular season,” Kucera said. “We’re really proud of how we played at sectionals with a low round.”
By August, Kucera had already compiled an impressive list of accomplishments including a No. 10 ranking on the Illinois Class of 2017 on Junior Golf Scoreboard, third-place tie at the Chick Evans Junior Amateur Championship, and second place in the MAJGT/IJGA Player of the Year points race, among other honors.
“Amy is an amazing golf success story,” Fenwick girls golf coach Kitty Delaney said. “She tried out for the girls golf team as a freshman with no competitive golf experience.
“After playing very little if any her freshman year, she and her father (Paul) began frequenting the White Pines Golf Dome in the winter and began taking golf lessons. She spent her summers playing in IJGA tournaments, all the while watching her scoring averages steadily improve.”
Fenwick junior Stephanie Mroz, the only other state qualifier for the Friars this season, marvels at Kucera’s rapid improvement and dedication to golf.
“Amy is one of my best friends and she’s also the most hard working person I have ever met,” Mroz said. “Amy’s game has improved incredibly over the past three years. She has gotten her scores from the 100s all the way done to consistently shooting in the 70s. Amy golfs and trains every day for the sport she loves.
An easygoing girl off the golf course, Kucera is all business in competition.
“During our 9-hole matches, Amy didn’t really talk because she is such a focused individual in the game,” Mroz said. “Yet off the course she is a chatter box. Her mental acuteness is her piercing quality because it distinguishes her from many others.”
With her stellar high school golfing days over, Kucera is already preparing to take her game to another level. She’s been chosen to join an elite golf training program and plans on playing college golf.
“The program is very intense winter training with a focus on improving a player’s mentality about the game,” Kucera said. “I also think one of my strengths is knowing my strengths as player. I know I can take shots under pressure and handle those situations.”
Off the golf course, Kucera has a wide array of interests. Having a passion for music, she can play piano and flute and is a member of the Fenwick Pep Band.
She’s also an excellent student at Fenwick who was selected for the National Honors Society. In particular, Kucera enjoys Math and Science.
“Being at Fenwick in such a strong academic environment definitely pushed me,” Kucera said. “With so many intelligent and bright students around me, I felt that I really had to push myself more with better study habits.”
A Riverside native, Kucera also credits much of her success to the support given from parents, Paul and Susan Kucera.
“My parents have been so helpful with the development of my golf game and academics,” Kucera said. “There have been some stressful days where I never could get through it, but my parents are always there and know how to make me feel better.”
Speaking of helping others, Kucera is very aware of mentoring her younger teammates, whether they are on the Fenwick golf team or pep band.
“During my remaining time at Fenwick, I’m looking forward to making a lasting impression at this school,” Kucera said. “I want to leave a legacy that others can look up to. Hopefully, my golf teammates can follow the example I’ve tried to set, which is about about how hard work and effort can lead to a successful career.”