Gattone, Illini take first at the Diane Thomason Invitational

The Illinois women’s golf team got back to its winning ways this weekend at the Diane Thomason Invitational with a 14-stroke victory over second-place finisher Iowa, and freshman Dana Gattone tied for the individual title with a score of 9-over-par. Illinois finished 14 strokes above second-place Iowa and 19 strokes above Wichita State and South Dakota State in Iowa City, Iowa.

Gattone carded a 9-over, 225, in the three rounds, good enough for a tie with Northern Illinois sophomore Lena Gautier. Gattone’s performance featured seven birdies over the 54 holes, and it also included an even scoring average on par-5s and a 1-over average on par-3s, where she did most of her damage.

Gattone continued the tradition of Illinois freshman winning the Diane Thomason Invitational. She followed sophomore Stephanie Miller’s victory from last year.

Aside from Gattone, the rest of the Illini posted solid finishes at Iowa City, including a fifth-place finish for sophomore Stephanie Miller, a 12th-place finish for Grace Park and a 14th-place finish for Chayanid Prapassarangkul, who climbed 30 positions with a 3-under final round. Sophomore Emily Joers also posted a 17th-place finish as the final Illini team score.

The Illini entered the final round holding a one-shot lead over South Dakota State, at 50-over. Illinois went on to post its lowest round of the tournament, a 3-over 291 in the third round, also becoming the only team to post a sub-300 round throughout the tournament.

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    The win for the Illini is their first of the year, and their total score of 917 improved upon their score from their last event, the Minnesota Invitational, by three shots.

    Looking forward, the Illini will have two weeks to prepare for their next tournament, at the Hoosier Invitational in Noblesville, Indiana, where the Illini carded a second-place finish last year.

    Lucas can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @LucasWright95.