Women’s golf reaches goal in tournament

By Meghan Montemurro

The Illinois women’s golf team finished the season on a high note, coming in sixth place at the Big Ten Tournament.

The finish allowed the Illini to achieve one of their preseason goals of finishing in the top six in the Big Ten.

Playing on the familiar Forest Akers West Golf Course at Michigan State, the Illini earned their highest team finish at the Big Ten Tournament since 2002.

It was a battle for Illinois, as they beat out Michigan by just one stroke to solidify sixth place. Head coach Renee Slone was pleased with how the team ended the season.

“We are very happy,” Slone said. “We set a number of goals at the beginning of the season and this was one of them, and we were able to attain that.”

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Individually, senior Meghan Naik led the Illini with an 11th-place finish. Naik had a strong end to her season after only participating in three spring tournaments following a hairline fracture in her foot. Friday’s score of 74 was Naik’s lowest score of the spring.

“For her to be able to come back and finish strong like this is a thrill and shows her will and determination,” Slone said.

Slone said that with the golf season over, she looks forward to spending time with her husband and recharging her batteries after finishing her first year as head coach.

“It’s been challenging, but it’s been rewarding,” Slone said. “Any time you take on a new position, things don’t go as you hope, but all in all, I think the team is a great team to work with and we are moving in the right direction.”