Women’s golf looks to regain momentum at Lady Northern Invitational

After a disappointing finish at the Bettie Lou Invitational, the Illini women’s golf team is eager to get back into competition.

“Our start in Colorado really was a fantastic way to start the season, and we really just had a lot of momentum there,” Illinois head coach Renee Slone said. “Unfortunately, in Kentucky we just didn’t get the results we were looking for.”

Senior Samantha Sloan led the Illini, shooting a 15-over-par 231 over three rounds, good for sixth overall. She hopes to improve starting Monday.

“We prepared very hard for the tournament, but it just didn’t carry over and sometimes that happens,” Sloan said.

Hoping to regain momentum, Illinois travels to the French Lick Golf Club in French Lick, Ind., on Monday to compete in the Lady Northern Invitational.

“While we are very disappointed in how we played, we learned a lot and coach prepared some challenging practices for us this week for French Lick,” Sloan said. “We know that it’s hilly and has some very difficult greens, so we’re working on some shots on tops and sides of hills, and we’re working on some longer putts and difficult chips.”

French Lick also happens to be the set location for the Big Ten Championships in the spring, and this weekend’s invite is a chance for the Illini to get a feel for the course. The Illini will be playing French Lick for the first time in Slone’s tenure at Illinois, but the Illini head coach is aware of its difficulty.

“We have not played here before, and I think really formulating a good solid game plan for every player during the practice round is going to be key to our success,” she said.

The senior-led women’s golf team hopes its return to play coincides with the return of the momentum they had before stumbling at the Bettie Lou Invitational.

“We’re looking forward to playing at French Lick,” Slone said. “We’ll just have a little different game plan, utilizing our practice rounds and just thinking our way around the golf course in a different way, and I think we will see the benefits of doing that.”