Ian Kelsey is a good big brother to his sister Lauren.
Part of the reason both siblings will compete for Deerfield High School’s golf teams today in the Sectional Meet to earn a berth in the State Tournament is the mentoring Ian has given Lauren.
Earlier: Kelsey Refuses to Give In
Ian competes for the Warrior boys’ team in the Barrington Sectional today while Lauren is the girls’ squad’s lone representative at the Carmel Sectional in Waukegan.
Ian began playing the game at 7 and after becoming adept was hooked. “It took a while,” Ian said. “Eventually it grew on me. Once you have one good shot you just want to come back and do it again.”
Lauren did not start playing golf until the summer before her freshman year at Deerfield. She is now a sophomore and Ian is a junior. “Lauren is relatively new to the game,” Warrior girls’ golf Coach Tim Bleck said. “Ian has mentored her really well.”
Ian tries to be there for his sister too. “She knows I will be there to support her,” he said. “Being a sophomore and doing what she is doing is fantastic.
Family played a role for Lauren’s decision to take up the game. “He (Ian) had a lot to do with my decision to go into it,” Lauren said. “He liked it and as I played I learned to like it a lot more.”
When did Lauren realize she had potential as a golfer? “I guess when I made varsity as a freshman,” she said.
The Kelsey’s father, John Kelsey, is a golfer as well with a 5 handicap. Their mother, Heekyoung-Jo Kelsey, does not play. Both Lauren and Ian enjoy the family threesome as competition a shade gentler than tournament golf. “We’ll have little three-hole competitions,” Ian said. “We like to go play courses together.”
Today’s Sectional Tournament is a return trip for both Warriors. Ian advanced from Regional to Sectional as both a freshman and sophomore, falling one stroke shy of reaching the State Meet last year. Lauren reached the Sectional level as a freshman as well.
The State Meet is a goal for both Lauren and Ian but they remain focused on today’s competition hoping things fall into place. The top 10 individual finishers advance. Ari Marks and Colin compete for the boys’ team a well.
“I was very close last year and know what to expect,” Ian said. “The most important thing is to keep the ball in play.” His plan is to concentrate on his game and see the other scores when he finishes his round.
Lauren has set two goals for herself. “I’d love to break 80,” she said. “I will try my best and I’d love to get to State.” She does not necessarily consider the two goals synonymous.
Bleck sees things the same way. The Carmel Sectional is one of the most competitive. If she shoots 79 he thinks the State Tournament is possible. “If you can get under 80 you have a chance,” he said. “You never know what will happen.”