Illini women’s golf finish tied for 10th in Florida

By Lucas Wright

An unwelcome trend is developing for the Illinois women’s golf team.

For the second straight week, the Illini were in contention after one round and plummeted down the leader board in the second round.

This time, the Illini finished the Hurricane Invitational in Coral Gables, Florida, in a tie for 10th, courtesy of a final three-round score of 892, 40-over par. Northwestern beat out 14 other teams for first place. 

“People struggled in different areas, whether it be putting, ball-striking or poor decision-making throughout the tournament, and that cost us several shots,” Illinois head coach Renee Slone said. “Obviously that’s very frustrating because that’s something that is controllable.”

Illinois posted an opening round 291 to land in a tie for fifth place, 11 shots off the lead. They were right in the middle of the pack until a collapse in the second round. The Illini finished the second round with a 302, their highest single-round score since the Jim West Invitational in November. Illinois entered the final round in 11th, and carded a 15-over 299 to finish in 10th.

Yet again, freshman Jan Prapassarangkul was the top finisher for the Illini. She finished in a tie for second, her second-straight top-three finish.

Prapassarangkul opened the tournament with a 1-over 72, followed that with a second-round 73 that put her in a tie for 16th. She went on to shoot a 2-under final round that included three birdies and a bogey.

“Jan had a great tournament,” Slone said. “She’s gotten off to a very good start this spring season, and it certainly is great for her confidence to see positive results from the areas that she has been specifically focusing on.”

The next highest finisher for the Illini was sophomore Stephanie Miller, who finished 44th with a total score of 11-over 224. Miller was 1-under following the first round. She carded three birdies to open her first round, but failed to record another birdie for the rest of the tournament. She shot 3-over in the second round and 8-over in her final round to fall to 44th place overall.

“My putting was not my best (Wednesday),” Miller said. “I took a penalty on the first par five I came to for hitting into the water. Then I three-putted the other two par fives, so that was pretty poor.”

Miller is looking forward to the next few weeks of practice and working on some problems in her swing.

“I’ve figured out a little tweak in my backswing and I tried to implement it this week,” Miller said. “It helps and it works, but I just need to work and put some reps on it to be ingrained into my swing.”

No other Illini finished in the top 50. Senior Pimploy Thirati finished in 56th place at 14-over. Sophomore Emily Joers and Freshman Grace Park tied for 62nd place at 16-over. Freshman Dana Gattone rounded out the team in 82nd place, shooting a 24-over 237.

“Overall for the team, we just didn’t have our A-game,” head coach Renee Slone said.

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