Kait Natividad was warm and dry in the clubhouse by the time afternoon rains hit Naperville Tuesday.
She was relieved, too.
Natividad came out on fire at the Class 2A Waubonsie Valley Sectional, shooting an even-par 36 on the front nine at Springbrook Golf Course.
That early surge held up for the Yorkville sophomore, whose 80 qualified her for the state meet for the second consecutive year.
Natividad wasn't exactly content with an 80, all things considered, but it did put her four strokes clear of the cut.
"That 32 on the front nine was huge," Natividad said. "Going in even par, going onto the back, especially with the conditions and the back being as hard as it was was important."
Natividad is well-versed in the pressures of the sectional meet.
As a freshman she shot a 79, the last individual qualifier for state. She parlayed that into a top 40 finish in Decatur.
"I barely got out, so I knew I had to play well," Natividad said. "I knew I had to play well, and I didn't really. I struggled with my putting on the back, being able to convert. I had a lot of big numbers."
Natividad did, though, sink a clutch uphill four-footer on No. 9 after missing the green on her approach.
"Putting was everything for me today," Natividad said. "If I could have putt better I would have done so much better. I had a four-putt, I had a three-putt. It was awful."
She knows how best to sharpen things up before the weekend.
"A lot of stroke work, routine, work on distance control drills," she said.
Lincoln-Way Central was the team champion at Springbrook, with a 323. Naperville North (326) and Hinsdale Central (329) also qualified its teams. Hinsdale's Roshannah Gaur was meet medalist, with a 74.
Natividad knows she has better golf in her for the weekend. The state meet is Friday and Saturday at Decatur's Hickory Point Golf Club.
"I do," Natividad said. "I look at my round here, I shot even on the front and I blew up on the back. I don't know what happened. I just wasn't thinking through everything as much. I think in the beginning you're thinking through more, you're more precise."