Illinois women’s golf look to build on consecutive top-five finishes

By Benjy Sabitt, Staff writer

After three tournaments in four weeks, the Illinois women’s golf team is coming off back-to-back top-five finishes.

The Illini endured a lot of traveling, going between Georgia and Hawaii during the busy four-week span.

Over the past two tournaments, the team has finished in fifth and third place, respectively.

With the ranked finishes, the players feel that the hectic tournament schedule has positioned them to be successful for the remainder of the season.

“It’s really good for us to play at different courses,” sophomore Jan Prapassarangkul said. “Hawaii and Georgia were very different courses, so gaining experience at different courses is good preparation for us.”

Freshman Bing Singhsumalee led the team in scoring during both of the top-five finishes.

The Illini will finish the regular season playing at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, Ohio State’s event, on April 16 before moving on to the Big Ten Championships.

Illini to add two more golfers for next season

Head coach Renee Slone has not changed her approach to recruiting despite the fact that the Illini will have their full roster returning for next season.

Katherine Hepler will finally play starting next season. Hepler transferred from Missouri in the fall but was redshirted for this season due to a stress fracture in her foot.

Slone sees the influx of players at her disposal as more of an asset than a burden. She said that she believes the team will benefit from the extra competition and that it will help to push the players more.

The current team is excited about the chance to be playing together again next season.

“The team talked about that at the team retreat, and realized that they were all going to be back,” Slone said. “That really excited them because they realized that not only did they have one year, but two years, to work together and take things in the direction they want to go. They’re trying to create a significant impact on the program that can leave a lasting impression.”

New swing, mental approach paying dividends for Miller

Junior Stephanie Miller spent the break between the fall and spring season working on a new swing, and strengthening her mental approach to the game.

Miller now has a shorter swing, and it appears to be paying off.

Through 12 rounds of the spring season, Miller had 896 strokes, compared to 1,141 strokes over 15 rounds during the fall season.

She also has lowered her average strokes per round from 76.07 to 74.67.

Miller said that she feels like the swing has helped her, although it is still a work in progress.

“My personal coach was nice enough to come down and work with me,” Miller said. “We’re still kind of fine tuning it and making sure that I’m sticking with it.”AR

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