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Lone senior Singhsumalee finds passion off the course

Senior+Bing+Singhsumalee+hits+a+ball+at+the+Ohio+State+University+golf+course+in+Columbus%2C+Ohio%2C+in+April+2018.+Singhsumalee+is+a+senior+in+Engineering+and+plays+the+piano+and+violin.
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Lone senior Singhsumalee finds passion off the course

Senior Bing Singhsumalee hits a ball at the Ohio State University golf course in Columbus, Ohio, in April 2018. Singhsumalee is a senior in Engineering and plays the piano and violin.

Senior Bing Singhsumalee hits a ball at the Ohio State University golf course in Columbus, Ohio, in April 2018. Singhsumalee is a senior in Engineering and plays the piano and violin.

Photo courtesy of Mark Jones

Senior Bing Singhsumalee hits a ball at the Ohio State University golf course in Columbus, Ohio, in April 2018. Singhsumalee is a senior in Engineering and plays the piano and violin.

Photo courtesy of Mark Jones

Photo courtesy of Mark Jones

Senior Bing Singhsumalee hits a ball at the Ohio State University golf course in Columbus, Ohio, in April 2018. Singhsumalee is a senior in Engineering and plays the piano and violin.

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

Illinois women’s golf senior Bing Singhsumalee has had a love for golf since she was four years old, but it wasn’t her only passion.

Growing up, Singhsumalee first began to golf with her father, swinging a club for the first time at 4 years old and soon participated in golf tournaments.

“I remember just hitting the little kid clubs and missing the ball,” Singhsumalee said. “Having it go 10 yards but I was having so much fun.”

Singhsumalee began to take golf more seriously when she was 5, but her parents still were the ones who signed her up for all the tournaments she participated in growing up. As a child, her favorite golfers included five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.

She improved her golf game over the years, and the Naperville, Illinois, native ultimately picked her flagship state university, the University of Illinois, for her collegiate experience.

During her career at Illinois, she has been successful on the course, with two back-to-back second-place finishes to close out last fall. She also had a successful junior season, where she had the fourth-best 54-hole score in school history, finishing five-under-par at the Mercedes-Benz tournament.

The senior in Engineering also has a passion for her studies. While she focuses more on the power grid, she enjoys studying and learning about electricity, even if it keeps her busy with her other golf commitments.

“Field stood out to me because of how big it is,” Singsumlee said. “Basically, everyone needs power to live, so that was why I took up the power part of electrical engineering.”

But that’s not the only thing Singhsumalee focuses on. She also loves music. While she plays piano and violin, Singsumalee doesn’t play often at the school, instead enjoying them when she’s back home. She tends to focus on playing songs she remembers, which include classical music from the likes of Beethoven and Bach.

As the only senior on this year’s team, Singhsumalee was given the chance to share the knowledge she has acquired over the years with her teammates. With a young team this season — 5 of the 8 players on the roster are freshmen — Singhsumalee said she’s enjoyed helping the freshmen adjust to college golf and college life in general.

Four years ago, Singhsumalee was in their shoes, just beginning her collegiate career. She decided to attend Illinois after finding the golf program to be a welcoming environment and since the school had a strong engineering department.

Head coach Renee Slone was also a big influence in Singhsumalee’s decision to come to Illinois.

“Everything that she does has really impacted me and inspired me to be my best every day,” Singhsumalee said. “(During) my freshman year, we went to the range, and it was after a 36-hole day, so it was dark and the range was pretty much closed. They didn’t have any golf balls out, and I remember her going to the left side of the range and just fishing golf balls out of the fescue. That stood out to me a lot just because it shows how dedicated she is.”

Looking back at her time on the Illinois golf team, Singhsumalee said her favorite memories have been spending time with the team. She enjoyed traveling with the team, hanging out with everyone and going to golf.

 

@claire_obrien43

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