The Daily Illini

Illinois women’s golf outpaces Kent State

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Illinois senior Grace Park takes a swing for the women’s golf team. Illinois participated in a tournament at Briar’s Creek where it placed ahead of Penn State. Park was a major factor in the team’s performance.

Illinois senior Grace Park takes a swing for the women’s golf team. Illinois participated in a tournament at Briar’s Creek where it placed ahead of Penn State. Park was a major factor in the team’s performance.

Photo courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

Photo courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

Illinois senior Grace Park takes a swing for the women’s golf team. Illinois participated in a tournament at Briar’s Creek where it placed ahead of Penn State. Park was a major factor in the team’s performance.


Over the weekend, the Illini women’s golf team played in the Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio. The invitational, hosted by the Ohio State University, was played on the university’s Scarlet Course.

After two rounds of play, the Illini finished at the top of a field, which included eight other Big Ten teams. Contributing to the team’s total score of 3-over-par were seniors Grace Park and Dana Gattone and sophomore Tristyn Nowlin — all three of whom finished in the top-10 as individuals.

Park had an especially successful outing this weekend, finishing with a career-best score of 3-under-par and tying for first with Kent State’s Pimnipa Panthong.

According to Park, the weekend’s results demonstrate all the effort the team has put in this season.

“I think it’s great to see our hard work pay off,” Park said. “We just want to keep sticking to our process and know the results will take care of themselves.”

Both Park and Gattone experienced their last regular season tournament at the Lady Buckeye.

Gattone — who finished tied in tenth — describes the course as one that can test any player’s game. The course and its conditions had her working hard to get herself out of a rough start.

“The Scarlet always poses a challenge for every player in the field,” Gattone said. “It plays long and tough, and on Saturday, the winds picked up as it started to rain. It takes a few rounds on the Scarlet to know exactly where you want to be on some holes and exactly where you don’t want to be on others. We played smart the whole day and that shows in our scores.”

Like the seniors, Nowlin went into the weekend with prior knowledge of the Scarlet Course. Her experience would help guide Nowlin to a T-4 finish with two rounds of even par.

Nowlin also saw the Lady Buckeye as a chance to raise the Illini’s spirits going into the Big Ten Championships.

“It definitely has an effect on our confidence going into this weekend,” Nowlin said of their second tournament win. “We know that we can play and put ourselves in good position on a challenging golf course with challenging conditions. This past weekend was a great preparation for what’s coming up at Big Tens.”

Rounding out the Illini’s performance were junior Bing Singhsumalee, senior Chayanid Prapassarangkul and freshman Ali Morallos. They finished at 6-over-par, 7-over-par and 8-over-par, respectively.

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