Chip Shots with Michelle Mayer

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P4250036.JPGGet behind the scenes of Illinois women's golf with Chip Shots, the online blog update for the squad. In this season's 11th edition, freshman Michelle Mayer takes a look back at the Big Ten Championships and how the team fared in French Lick. Be sure to also check out the photo gallery from the Donald Ross Course.

Illini Fans!

Hopefully all of you were able to follow us throughout the Big Ten Championship and see our best conference finish since 2002! At one point in the first round we were actually leading the tournament. Our team performance allowed us to be placed in the top pairing during the second day.  This was the first time in history (I believe) that we had been in the final grouping during the tournament.

Every green at French Lick is elevated. The rolling hills and incline took a toll on some of the players out there, but due to all of our conditioning and cardio, we had just as much energy on the eighteenth hole as we did on the first.

We had a lot of solid play throughout the weekend on the Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort. It was a challenging course that provided plenty of birdie opportunities if the course was played in a smart manner, as demonstrated by Nora who had thirteen birdies. Coach told us in the meeting the night before the first round that if we did not play smart golf and/or mishit a shot, to prepare ourselves for the punishment the course would provide, take our medicine and move on. It was key to determine positioning off the tee and the best angle to the pin because the greens were so undulated, large, and fast. We all went through and played the holes backwards, figuring out what would be the best putt towards the hole location and making sure that our approach shot left us below the hole while allocating enough room for space and error from the fairway. I learned so much about course management from Coach Slone and some of the seniors at the Lady Buckeye tournament in Ohio the week before and was very excited that I was able to use this to my advantage at French Lick.

For this being my first B1G Ten tournament, I was so excited to be playing on a course that I had already seen and experienced some level of success on during the last round of the Lady Northern event. It was such a great atmosphere at the tournament as well. French Lick had flags and decorations everywhere that made the event very special. The team was very excited leading up to the tournament, but there was a slight feeling of nostalgia afterwards among the seniors, realizing this would be their last conference tournament.  This feeling did not last too long as we had to start focusing on Regionals! Our team is headed out to Colorado this upcoming week to compete for a chance to make it to Nationals. I am fully confident that we are capable of doing just that!

Stay tuned!

Michelle Mayer

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