Illinois ties for second at Big Ten Tournament

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

The Illinois women’s golf team finished tied for second at the Big Ten Tournament Friday and Sunday in Maineville, Ohio.

The Illini had a bumpy start in the tournament, at one point being tied for fifth. However, at the end of Friday, freshman Kornkamol Sukaree was tied for first and junior Tristyn Nowlin was on par and tied for fourth. The Illini held onto first for a portion of the tournament, collectively three-over-par, despite less-than-stellar conditions.

Saturday’s round was originally delayed to a noon start time due to inclement weather, but ultimately the round was cancelled, according to a tweet from the Illini women’s golf account.

The Illini had half the 36-hole tournament behind them on Sunday. Even though the weather Sunday in Champaign-Urbana was 72 degrees and sunny, the weather in Maineville, Ohio, was overcast and a high of 66 degrees, marking the best conditions the Illini faced all weekend.

The weather improved Sunday, but the Illini were unable to capitalize on it. They finished the tournament tied for second along with Purdue and Indiana, losing to Ohio State by three strokes.

Prior to the tournament, head coach Renee Slone said the greens would be difficult due to size, but she said the team managed to mentally divide the greens to make it easier after the tournament.

Slone thought the team had a strong start Friday but didn’t finish as well on Sunday.

“They had great attitudes about the conditions (Friday),” Slone said. “(Sunday, they) got off to a great start, played the front nine well, made some birdies, had some momentum going. Unfortunately, (they) just didn’t quite finish it off there on the back nine.”

Sukaree and freshman Crystal Wang finished the tournament tied for eighth individually, with tournament scores of 144. Senior Bing Singhsumalee and Nowlin finished tied for 11th with tournament scores of 145.

For Sukaree, it was her first trip to the Big Ten tournament. She said it was a good experience to be able to compete, and despite a second-place finish, the team played strong.

“We just had the mindset of trying to play our best, just to keep energy up,” Sukaree said. “We did pretty well, but we fell short at the end.”

@claire_obrien43

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