Illini fall short at Glass City Invitational


By Josh Pietsch , Contributing Writer

The Illinois Women’s golf team competed in the Glass City Invitational this weekend, placing 5 out of 13 teams. The invite was hosted in Toledo, Ohio by the University of Toledo.

The Illini were confident heading into the match, having been ranked the 15th best collegiate team in the country in the preseason polls. Despite having just one senior and one junior on the roster, the team has a very strong core of sophomores returning from last year. They return two first-team all-conference golfers and one second-team all-conference golfer from last season, as well as three other women from last years team. The tournament consisted of other top-ranked teams as well, including Florida, Michigan and Michigan State.

The Illini got off to a great start in the tournament, finishing tied for first place with Florida after round 1 with a score of -2. Michigan was in third place at -1, Michigan State in fourth at even and Baylor in fifth with a score of +5. Star sophomore Kornkamol Sukaree led the way for the Illini, shooting a score of 70, and Ali Morallos was second on the team at 71.

Despite having started the match off well, the Illini lost some of their momenta in round two. The Michigan State Spartans passed the Illini for second place, dropping Illinois to third. Surakee and fellow sophomore Crystal Wang both shot 75 in the round, and the team ended the day at +9. Florida led the way at +5, Michigan State second at +7, Michigan and Furman tied for fourth at +11 and Baylor sixth at +15.

The Illini played worse in the next round, this time taking even more of a hit. Both Baylor and Michigan shot very good rounds and Illinois dropped all the way to +18, finishing in fifth place for the day. Wang was the top Illini for the round, shooting 73, but no other Illini could match her score. Sukaree shot only a 75, tied for third-best on the team.

Even though they didn’t finish the way they wanted to, the Illini took home some hardware. Sukaree and Wang both finished with a combined score of 220, making them tied for ninth in the tournament out of 80 individuals. Furman junior Natalie Srinivasan won the meet individually with a score of 211, and Florida was able to edge out Michigan by four strokes to take the team title.

After the match, the Illini dropped in national rankings. Despite blowing a big lead after the first round, and falling even more after the second, Illinois only fell four spots down to number 19 in the national rankings. The Illini will get a chance to compete again this week, heading to Norman, Oklahoma to compete in the Schooner Fall Classic. The tournament is hosted by the University of Oklahoma and will be played Friday-Sunday.

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