Women's Golf
Illini Conclude Westbrook Invite in 11th

Crystal Smith posted a career-low tournament total as an individual in the Westbrook Invite.
Crystal Smith posted a career-low tournament total as an individual in the Westbrook Invite.

Feb. 25, 2013

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Peoria, Ariz. - The Illinois women's golf team recorded their best round as a team in the third and final round of the Westbrook Spring Invitational, finishing up with a team total for the round of 295 (+7). With that third round total, the Illini set their record-low round for the year, including both fall and spring tournament seasons. Furthermore, that total bested six of the 12 other teams in the field and, more importantly, proved solid enough to boost the Orange and Blue into 11th place, up from 12th where they had sat prior to entering today's contest. The Illini closed their first spring tournament of the year with at an overall team total of 914, which was good enough to defeat fellow contenders Colorado State and Nebraska who posted team totals of 920 and 931, respectively.

Scoping out the top contributors for the Illini's improvement from day one to day two isn't difficult, as every one of the five golfers for Illinois tallied a lower score in the final round than they had in the first round. Four out the five Illinois golfers even shot their best rounds of the tournament in the third round with sophomore Michelle Mayer (74) being among the most improved as she shot her lowest round of the year, in relation to par, after shooting a total of 159 in the first two rounds of action on Sunday.

Also coming through for the Illini were teammates Pimploy Thirati and Jacqueline Calamaro, who were tied for 38th with 154 heading into today's final round of stroke play. The duo impressively managed to maintain their synchronization in the third round as they both found themselves in another tie for 26th at the end of the competition with totals equaling 227. While Thirati marked down three birdies in the third round and Calamaro recorded two, both golfers maintained their focus and were able to advance 12 positions in the individual rankings. Teammate and redshirt sophomore Samantha Postillion (75) also had success in tallying her lowest round of the tournament on Monday when she shot three birdies and ended up at 12 over par.

Moreover, senior Crystal Smith did the Illini proud when she finished up the invite in a strong fashion with her career-low tournament total (225). Smith participated at the Westbrook Invitational as an individual and with her total of 225 was good enough to land her in a two-way tie for 20th place individually. Smith opened the tournament with her lowest round of the year in the first round and was able to carry that momentum with her into the second and third round, which proved quintessential to her accomplishment of recording a career-low total.

"The final round of the tournament was definitely a step in the right direction for us," said head coach Renee Slone. "Though there are still areas we need to improve in, it is promising that we finished up the final round of the tournament with our lowest team total for the year. We were able to post four improved scores for the team total in the third round and Crystal also contended impressively as an individual with her career-low tournament total."

Illinois will pick up the action again March 8-10 when they visit Mesa, Ariz., where they will compete in the Notre Dame Clove Cup.

Westbrook Spring Invitational Results (Final)
11. ILLINOIS 310-309-295 = 914 (+50)
T20. Crystal Smith*  72-76-77 = 225
T26. Pimploy Thirati 76-78-73 = 227 (+11)
T26. Jacqueline Calamaro 76-68-73 = 227 (+11)
T31. Samantha Postillion 77-76-75 = 228 (+12)
T48. Michelle Mayer 81-78-74 = 233 (+17)
T61. Ember Schuldt 81-77-79 = 237 (+21)