Golf falls to seventh at weekend invitational

By Jeff LaBelle

The Illinois women’s golf team finished seventh in the Mary Fossum Invitational over the weekend after a hot start had it in the top three.

The Illini’s solid first-round score of 305 placed them behind only Michigan State and Indiana after 18 holes. But after two rounds, Illinois had fallen eight shots out of third place in its season-opening tournament at the par-72 Forest Acres West Golf Course.

“We got off to a great start with a very solid opening round,” head coach Renee Slone said. “We just struggled a little bit in rounds two and three. Last year, we would sometimes struggle from the get-go so this was an improvement.”

The play of seniors Seul Ki Park and Stephanie Mory, both top-20 individual finishers in the event, kept the Illini afloat in the East Lansing, Mich., tournament. Park’s three-round score, 228, made her the top finisher for the Illini and tied her for 12th overall in the tournament. Mory tallied two rounds of 74 and an 80 in the tournament to help place her nineteenth overall with a 230. Kristine Cook led all Illini after two rounds and had a three-round total 231.

In the second round, Mory’s game suffered because of an issue with her contact lens that hindered her sight.

“Mory had a very good tournament overall,” Slone said. “Her second round was hampered by the fact she really couldn’t see, her eye was burning. We were able to get the contact lens out, but then she was only playing with one eye. And that’s not the best situation for anyone.”

Host Michigan State’s team score, 896, bettered Indiana’s for the event title. Kent State, Michigan, Iowa and Missouri rounded out the top six. Illinois’ three-round total, 930, placed them ahead of Ferris State, Grand Valley State and Toledo. The team score was calculated by adding together the four best individual scores for each team.

The Illini’s next challenge will be the Lady Northern tournament hosted by Penn State in two weeks, Sept. 22-23.