Brooke Cusumano ends high school career with a second win at state
By: Warren Mayes
If she could have written the end to her high school golf career, Westminster Christian Academy’s Brooke Cusumano could be compared to Hemmingway.
She successfully defended her Class 1 championship at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club in New Bloomfield. The effervescent senior shot a two-day total of 154, good for 10 strokes over par. She won state by three strokes, topping her teammate Jordan Wolf.
Cusumano was not at a loss for words to describe her feelings.
“I mean, it’s pretty incredible,” Cusumano said. “When I was in the eighth grade, I never thought about something like this happening to me. Getting to state is such an honor. To win it twice in a row is just unbelievable. I have a hard time putting it in the right words. I’m so flattered by it all.
“I still can’t imagine it. I couldn’t believe I won state once. To win twice, is a dream come true.”
Naturally, Westminster coach Steve Bradley was thrilled for her.
“Brooke is such an intense competitor that it will be really hard to lose her next season,” Bradley said.
“She was nervous after the front nine on the second day. She had a bad hole on No. 6 when she got into trouble in the wet sand. She had no idea when she finished her last hole that she had won.
“Her father (Frank) asked us if he could go tell her when she had finished. Of course, we said yes. He went up to her and told her and then the two of them shared a big hug. It was the best moment of the tournament.”
Cusumano said it was a special moment for her and her dad.
“My dad ran up to me and gave me a big hug and told me I had won,” Cusumano said. “I was literally stunned. I didn’t think I had won. I couldn’t really tell. No one really did anything when I finished. So, I didn’t think I had won.”
But after her father delivered the good news, Cusumano said, “Everyone came up and gave me a hug and congratulated me.”
The course was tough, Cusumano said. It played tougher on the second day with the wind.
“The bunkers were deadly. It was hard sand, too, and that’s the worse. I’m terrible in them,” Cusumano said. “All my trouble in the two days was when I was in the bunker.”
But tough as it was, Cusumano improved on her score from last year as well. She had an eagle on the first day of the tourney.
“I haven’t had an eagle in three years,” Cusumano said. “That was awesome.”
The eagle came on No. 7, a par 5. Cusumano was on the green in two shots and had a 20-foot putt.
“I made it. No one said a word,” Cusumano said. “Then a girl in my group said ‘You just made an eagle.’ I said I guess I did. I didn’t realize I did it. I didn’t have a chance to get nervous about the putt.”
She did have two sevens, one in each round.
On the second day, Cusumano recorded the score on No. 6.
“I went through so many stages,” Cusumano said. “It was the goofiest thing ever. My assistant coach Mr. Rex Janssen said I could still win and to not let it bother me.”
She took the advice. Cusumano birdied No. 7 and then parred No. 8 and No. 9, where she had a seven the day before.
“I got my game back,” Cusumano said.
That did not surprise Bradley.
“Brooke always does well with her driver and with her chipping,” Bradley said. “She had a great opening round and even overcame a bad hole on No. 9 to lead after the first day. On the second day, even with a bad number on hole 6, she battled through it.
“She nearly aced hole 17 by placing her tee shot 1 foot from the cup. She just never quits, and that is what makes her a two-time state champion.”
Cusumano said she is excited about going to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
“I really liked the school,” Cusumano said. “I really felt like they wanted me on the team. It’s close and a perfect distance from my house. I can come home when I need to. The school is great.”
Cusumano will sign with SIUC to play golf at the upcoming national letter of intent signing day.