Women’s golf team to compete in harsh cold

By Meghan Montemurro

Despite the cold temperatures, the Illinois women’s golf team welcomes the opportunity to play on their home course as host of the 31st annual Illini Spring Classic. The Illini will look to take home their 11th Classic title and the first since 2005 in the 15-team tournament.

Former Illinois golf player and current head coach Renee Slone won the Classic individually three times – in 1990, 1991 and 1993.

“I think the experiences that I have had can certainly help the players in competition,” Slone said.

Slone has high expectations for the team playing on their home course.

“Any time you are hosting an event on your home course, you are looking to perform well and bring home the victory,” Slone said.

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Even though it is the spring season, the forecast for the weekend is not typical golf conditions. The temperature is expected to be around 40 degrees with winds around 20 mph.

“There has been a lot of talk about the weather conditions,” Slone said. “I feel the person who doesn’t really think about the weather, doesn’t let that affect them and just goes out and plays the golf course, is going to be the one who comes out on top.”

Slone said each player has the opportunity to perform well and have shown it throughout the season.

“I feel we have a number of members on the team that could easily finish in the top 10 in the tournament,” Slone said.

Due to the frigid weather forecast, the Illini Spring Classic has been changed from the original 54-hole format to a 36-hole tournament format. Play will begin on Friday at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at the Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana. The tournament ends on Saturday.