Steve and Sarah Skurla have returned to their roots.
“We were born on the East Coast but moved to Wheaton at very young age,” said Sarah, who graduated from Wheaton Warrenville South last spring.
The Skurlas have been fixtures on the local junior golf scene, and Sarah will join her older brother as a collegiate golfer when she joins the first-year program at the University of Delaware.
Steve already has two years’ collegiate experience under his belt at Big East Villanova.
The 2009 WW South graduate has had a successful summer, qualifying for both the Illinois Men’s Open and the Illinois State Amateur Championship.
The elder Skurla was a model of consistency during his middle two rounds of the three-day, 72-hole state amateur last week in Glen Ellyn, firing back-to-back level-par rounds at the par-71 Glen Oak Country Club layout.
“I found my driver swing,” Steve said of his marksmanship off the tee of the tree-lined layout.
Steve Skurla was one of 36-players to survive the 36-hole cut at the state amateur championship, bettering the 148 necessary by three shots.
With his third-round level-par showing, highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 10th hole, Skurla was eying a top-10 finish at the tournament.
There would be no guarantees, however, as the last day of the tournament was a grueling 36-hole finale.
“(The final-day format) wasn’t anything new,” Skurla said.
Three-over par entering the afternoon round on Thursday, Skurla could not maintain the momentum of his two middle rounds.
“The first and last round I couldn’t get anything to drop (on the greens) for whatever reason,” Skurla said.
Steve finished with a 6-over 77 in final-round play to end the tournament with an aggregate score of 293 and a top-20 showing.
Nothing the elder Skurla does on or off the course surprises Jimmy Selleck, his golf coach at WW South.
“Steve, for me, was an outstanding captain,” Selleck said. “For me he is an all-timer in terms of what you look for: leadership, team golf, character, competitiveness.”
Art Tang, the girls golf coach at WW South, had many similar feelings for Sarah, who had her attempt for a third consecutive Class AA state appearance derailed last fall by an illness during the postseason.
“(Sarah) comes from a wonderful golf family,” Tang said. “She was just a pleasure to have the last four years. I’m going to miss her.”
The younger became an accidental collegiate student-athlete.
“(Playing collegiate) was not my original plan,” Sarah said.
Determined to return to her East Coast roots, Sarah Skurla took a college visit to Georgetown University in the nation’s capital.
The Women’s golf coach, Patti Post, left the Washington, D.C. school to begin the program at Delaware.
“I was not huge on playing golf in college,” Sarah said.
But after visiting the campus in Newark, Delaware, the younger Skurla not only fell in love with Delaware, but the opportunity to be a part of history was too tempting to forgo.
“I have always loved the East Coast,” Sarah said. “I kind of wanted to leave the Midwest and get a different taste.”
The Skurlas’ parents, Mark and Ashley, have been behind them every step of the way as they navigated the three seasons of competition.
“(Mark and Ashley Skurla) have always been very supportive of junior and high school golf,” Selleck said. “They realize how the game can make you a better person.”
Steve Skurla returns to suburban Philadelphia knowing his game is rounding into form.
“I’m happy with the way things are going,” the two-year starter said.
Sarah Skurla will not be terribly far away.
“We’re each other’s biggest supporters and cheerleaders,” Sarah said.