Illinois women's golf to compete in 3M Augusta Invitational this weekend

By Benjy Sabitt

The Illinois women’s golf team will head to a golf mecca this weekend for the 3M Augusta Invitational in Augusta, Georgia.

The event will be held at Forest Hills Golf Club. Across town is the renowned Augusta National Golf Course where, in exactly month from now, the final round of The Masters will be in full swing.

The first round of the Invitational starts Friday.

Although most people associate the town of Augusta with The Masters, this is also the home of Augusta University, the host team of this weekend’s event.

The Illini have had three weeks to prepare for this event after finishing 11th out of 15 teams in the Westbrook Spring Invitational.

They’ve used the time to tune-up certain parts of their game and focus on their school work, as they prepare to bounce back from the 11th place finish. The team has tournaments in each of the next three weekends.

The 3M Augusta Invitational will have three rounds. The first two rounds are normal tournament play, and the final round will be a shotgun format, where groups will be assigned to a certain hole beforehand.

The Illini and Maryland are the only representatives from the Big Ten in the 16-team field that features Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, East Tennessee, Florida State, Furman, Georgia Southern, Kennesaw State, Maryland, Memphis, Mercer, Texas A&M, Troy, Virginia Tech, and host Augusta College.

Leading the pack for the Illini at the Westbrook Spring Invitational was sophomore Grace Park, who shot a 1-over, and junior Stephanie Miller, who shot a 2-over.

The team will compete this weekend with the same set of players as it did for the Westbrook Spring Invitational. Miller and Park will be joined by sophomores Dana Gattone and Jan Prapassarangkul and freshmen Bing Singhsumalee.

Sophomore Pailin Ruttanasupagid will compete as an individual.

Coastal Carolina won both the team competition and had the individual champion at last year’s event. They finished with a 15-over par.

The Illini currently rank No. 57 in the national ranking, the sixth-best ranking of all teams participating in the tournament this weekend.

Although they didn’t finish as well as they would’ve liked in the first tournament of the spring season, they still have four competitions left and the golfers look to gain momentum for the rest of the year.

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