Illinois women’s golf ties for 15th at the Intercollegiate

Senior Ember Schuldt shot a 5-under-par 67, tying her career low, in the first round of the Intercollegiate, but the Illinois women’s golf team wasn’t as successful.

On Monday and Tuesday, the Illini competed against 18 other teams at the par-72, 5,967-yard golf course at the Marsh Landing Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. After three rounds of golf, they found themselves with a total score of a 909 to tie Michigan for 15th place.

“We just were struggling overall as a team,” head coach Renee Slone said. “It’s just a combination of things for everyone: ball-striking, short game, decision making. It’s just not where it needs to be to play good golf.”

Early on in the tournament, the Illini were in fifth place. As the day progressed, though, their position continued to fall. At the end of the day Monday, Illinois had played two rounds of golf with 40 bogeys,and scored a double bogey or higher on 11 holes. This gave the golfers 13th place with a score of a 597.

There wasn’t one thing in particular the team as a whole needed to work on to improve for the last round of play. Struggles varied from individual to individual. So when the first day concluded, Slone met with each golfer to assess how she had done so far and what needed work.

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    The Illini hadn’t scored higher than 300 in either of the first two rounds, but in the final round, they earned a 312. This came as a result of 32 bogeys, and four holes marked a double bogey or worse.

    The beginning of the third round was also delayed because of a heavy rainstorm, and the first couple of holes were accompanied by rain; however, Slone mentioned this didn’t faze her team. There was a definite chance of rain Tuesday, so the golfers knew it was coming.

    “Overall in the tournament (Tuesday), the scores were higher for (the) majority of the teams, with the exception of Florida State, who walked away with the tournament,” Slone said. “But for the most part, today’s scores were a bit higher due to the difference in conditions. The course played much longer today after the rain. Even though we had some windy conditions (Monday) around midday, scores overall were a little bit higher today.”

    Slone also saw better ball-striking among the golfers, but there were also some challenges with putting.

    “We’ve got some work to do in the next week before we leave for the next tournament,” Slone said. “And just like I said, each player has some fine tuning to do on different aspects of their game, and we’re at a point where we need to hone in on some things here, so we can put together three solid scores at the next tournament.”

    Ashley can be reached at [email protected] and @wijangco12.