Lauren Beaudreau is unquestionably the most gifted athlete in the 20-plus-year history of the girls golf program at Benet.
Beaudreau was virtually unbeatable as an underclassman, winning both Class AA sectionals while finishing fourth and second, respectively, as a freshman and sophomore at the state finals.
But Beaudreau, who hails from Lemont and has verbally committed to Notre Dame, skipped her junior year at Benet last fall to play a national schedule.
Now she's back, with a precise focus.
“She really wants to win a state championship in her senior year,” Benet coach Mike Bremner said of his standout player.
“I played in those two [national] invitationals, but I really missed [the 2017 high school season] a lot when state came around,” Beaudreau said of her conflict with the state series last October. “I am really excited for another opportunity this year. A lot of girls I have been playing with this summer have their names on the state championship. It motivates me a lot.”
The reemergence of Beaudreau will undoubtedly put Benet in the same conversation with west suburban perennial powers Hinsdale Central and Naperville North, both of whom boast multiple returnees from state-qualifying units from last season, for area supremacy.
“We love having [Beaudreau] on the team,” said Benet senior Tess Jacobs, a sectional qualifier last year. “It really increases our chances of going to state.”
Beaudreau authored the anchor score—a 5-under par 67—to help launch the Redwings to their only team state appearance in program history two years ago.
Fellow senior Caroline Wing, the only other remaining player from the Redwings’ state unit, also returns.
“With those two we’re going to be so good,” Jacobs said of Beaudreau and Wing at the top of the Redwings’ order.
“I would love to see these girls qualify as a team [to the state tournament],” Bremner said. “Lauren is such an addition to the team. [As a coach], you know you’re going to have such a great score at the top.”
Beaudreau is more than battle tested entering her final season. The Notre Dame recruit seeks to reestablish the sense of camaraderie she sacrificed last fall while traveling the country.
“We really had a strong bond [my sophomore year],” Beaudreau said. “I have been playing a lot of golf this summer. I would love for the whole team to make it down again.”
But Beaudreau also has every intention of maximizing her final fall campaign as a prep golfer.
“For the [regular] season I’m not going to think about state,” Beaudreau said. “Each round I go out I am just going to see how many birdies I can have.”
Bremner is adopting a similar mindset.
“I really hope we can be competitive in the East Suburban [Catholic] Conference,” said Bremner, echoing the central desire of any high school coach. “We have won it two years in a row. That’s our No. 1 goal. I want [Beaudreau] to have a good year and play confidently.”
Beaudreau scripted her bogey-free second sectional championship two years ago, bettering Grace Curran, among many others.
But Beaudreau hopes to revise the results of the state meet from two years ago as Curran rebounded to win state with a 3-under par total of 141.
Beaudreau had to settle for runner-up with her 2-under two-day total of 142.
“I can’t be too upset with [the 2016 state results],” Beaudreau said. “Grace and I are good friends.”