Women’s golf finishes 15th at invitational

By Meghan Montemurro

It was a rough weekend at the Rio Verde Invitational for the Illinois women’s golf team.

The team finished the three-day invitational in 15th place out of 18 teams. Head coach Renee Slone was disappointed with the Illini’s performance.

“Going into the tournament, I thought we could easily have had a top five finish,” Slone said.

Senior captain Meghan Naik, who played in her first meet of the fall season, is still recovering from a hairline fracture in her ankle. Slone was impressed, though, with the way she stepped up for the team, despite being in obvious pain at the end of each day.

The Illini were also without junior Stepanie Mory who was out with an illness.

Junior Seul Ki Park led the Illini with a 21st-place finish overall at the invitational. Slone said she was happy with Park’s performance, but the rest of team faltered in the later rounds and was unable to recover from it.

Slone hopes the Illini will continue to improve over spring break and have a strong showing at the UC Spring Invitational in Crystal River, Fla. Slone is confident the team can take first place at the invitational, which fields 10 teams. In order to improve, Slone points to the mental game as the key.

“There were a lot of mental mistakes made and there were a lot of out-of-bounds shots,” Slone said. “Big numbers like that are hard to overcome.”

There were positives to take away as well, Slone said. She was pleased with the ball striking of her team, especially after the long break during the winter season.

Honored student

Illinois senior golfer Patrick Nagle was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week. Nagle received the honor after finishing runner-up (eight under par) out of 80 golfers at the Louisiana Classic. This was Nagle’s 20th top-10 finish in his career. The Illini are in action next week at the Western Intercollegiate in California.