Women place 10th in golf invitational



By Kyle Diller

The women’s golf team’s streak of six top-five finishes was broken last weekend after it placed 10th in the Lady Buckeye Invitational.

The Illini were sitting in ninth place after 36 holes on Saturday but dropped a spot in the final 18 holes on Sunday. No. 13 Kent State won the tourney, while host No. 36 Ohio State finished second, 28 strokes behind the Golden Flashes. Big Ten squads No. 20 Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin rounded out the top five.

“We know a couple areas we need to work on (Tuesday),” said head coach Renee Slone. “Hopefully, we can use this as a motivation and stepping stone to get us as prepared as possible for Big Ten.”

No. 29 Sara Brown of Michigan State held on to her individual lead from Saturday to take top honors in the tournament. Kristine Cook and Stephanie Mory led the Orange and Blue, both finishing in a tie for 29th place. Seul Ki Park’s record of nine straight top-18 finishes ended after she tied for 35th place. The remainder of the team consisted of Raquel Hopton (58th place), Nancy Featherstone (tied for 60th) and Kristin Kallergis (tied for 64th).

“I think we all know we could’ve done a lot better,” Cook said. “I think I had two decent rounds and had one very poor round, but I was glad to come back the last day and play well.”

The biggest concern from the loss will be what effect it has on the team’s chances of qualifying for the NCAA Regional.

“It certainly did not help us,” Slone said. “We needed to have a strong showing at this event, but we still have Big Ten to look forward to and hopefully we can have a good showing then.”

Slone is taking the team’s weaknesses from the Lady Buckeye Invitational and will be working with players to improve in these areas. She said the Illini will focus on putting to prepare for the upcoming Big Ten Championship.

“We think of how we’re going to get to regionals, how to finish up the in the Big Ten,” said Park. “Obviously we all need to have our game on, and that’s how we’re going to have good results.”

The golfers will be travel to Penn State on Friday for the Big Ten Championship.