Nowlin, Wang hope for success at Clemson Invitational

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Photo Courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

Junior Crystal Wang completes a swing during the third round of the NCAA championships on May 20, 2019. Tristyn Nowlin and Crystal Wang hope for a successful weekend in Sunset, South Carolina for the Clemson Invitational.

By Renato Arteaga, Staff Writer

Women’s golf head coach Renee Slone and her team will be traveling to Sunset, South Carolina for the Clemson Invitational this weekend. 

The Illini finished 11th at their previous tournament at the Briar’s Creek Invitational, where the team had two individuals finish in the top ten. Redshirt senior Tristyn Nowlin and junior Crystal Wang managed to tie for eighth place with a score of +4 during last week’s tournament.

Wang is having a phenomenal spring season so far after accomplishing the best spring tournament finish of her career when she finished fifth at the Heroes Ladies Intercollegiate that took place Feb. 7-9.

She praised Slone for her ability to understand every player’s mindset and mentioned how her coaching points after the Briar’s Creek Invitational have prepared her for the upcoming Clemson tournament.

“I knew there was going to be harsh conditions, so I didn’t have any expectations, and I was able to just focus,” Wang said. “The key takeaway was to not set a bar for my scores and not thinking about what scores I should be doing and instead just play my game.”

Last year, the Clemson Invitational tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down every collegiate competition across the country, but the Illini had a very historic finish at the event the season prior.

During the 2019 Clemson Invitational, the Illini finished fourth and broke a school record with the program’s best 36-hole tournament finish with a total score of 574.

Nowlin was a junior at the time and tied for 18th with a score of -1, while Wang tied for 41st with a score of +2 during the historic exhibition match for the Illini.

This year’s Clemson-hosted tournament will take place on the Reserve Club at Lake Keowee. This tournament is the second to last regular season match for the Illini before the Big Ten Championships, which are scheduled for April 23-25.

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