Godfrey wins title

Daily Illini File Photo

Daily Illini File Photo

By Jon Gluskin

One of Megan Godfrey’s career goals was to get a tournament win. At the Shootout at The Legends on Monday and Tuesday, the junior did just that.

“It was a great win,” Godfrey said. “A little surprising, but great. I think I proved to myself that I can definitely compete with the best of them and be at the top.”

Godfrey helped lead the Illinois women’s golf team to a sixth-place finish at The Legends Golf Course, in Franklin, Ind. She shot 72-78-72, to finish six over par with a 222.

With the exception of a quadruple bogey and a double bogey during the second round, Godfrey shot par for the tournament. She was happy she didn’t let those two holes ruin her tournament.

“I knew that I had to keep it together to stay at the top,” Godfrey said. “I definitely learned how to stay consistent and keep fighting at the end of the day. That’s really why it worked.”

As expected, head coach Paula Smith was proud of her golfer.

“It was a thrill to see her dedication and determination pay off,” Smith said. “She’s a very deserving champion. The team and I enjoyed sharing that special moment with her. I predict this will be the first of many. She’s just begun. She has more in her.”

Godfrey said she was successful largely due to her short game and thought she was able to help the team with her performance.

“I knew that anything for myself would definitely help the team,” Godfrey said. “It definitely gives them motivation. We had some great scores and they were all really supportive, also.”

The Illini’s team score of 923 was better than Big Ten foes Wisconsin, Minnesota and Indiana. Notre Dame won the tournament with a score of 901. Michigan followed with a 913 and Campbell placed third with 914. The Illini’s performance pleased Smith.

“I was delighted,” Smith said. “I think they are making a lot of improvements, so we’re heading in the right direction.”

Smith was not only happy for the tournament winner, but also with the performance of the team as a whole. Freshman Seul Ki Park finished second for the Illini, at 237. Her score put her in a tie for 26th place.

Freshman Casey Burden competed in her first collegiate tournament and tied for 28th place (238). Another freshman, Kristine Cook, finished in a tie for 35th, at 240.

Senior Lyndsey Milligan tied for 51st with a 245. Sophomore Meghan Naik played in her first tournament of the season, finishing tied for 58th at 248.

“Each person on the team contributed at one point or another when we really needed it,” Smith said. “Everybody had a role. It was a team effort, kind of like the first tournament.”

Smith said the keys to her team’s success were staying focused on the process of the game and taking it one shot at a time. All the while, she doesn’t want her team worrying about the competition.

“I’m just really happy with what they’ve done,” Smith said. “No matter where we ended up, they were making progress.”

The Illini will compete next at the Lady Aztec Fall Classic in San Diego, Oct. 18-19.

“I think it’s really looking good for our last two tournaments of the season,” Godfrey said.