Illini Improve by Two Places, Finish 8th at Rio Verde
March 4, 2006
RIO VERDE, Ariz - A pair of 72s from Illinois sophomores Seul Ki Park and Stephanie Mory backed the second-best final round of the Illini women's golf season and helped the Orange and Blue to finish in eighth place at the Rio Verde Invitational on Saturday.
Mory finished in sixth place and re-established her collegiate best-round two days after she shot 75 to surpass her previous zenith of 77, which she hit four times last fall. Throughout the tournament, beginning with Thursday's 75, following with Friday's 77 and closing with Saturday's 72, Mory stood as high as tied for fourth on the leaderboard and fell no further than tied for ninth at day's end.
"It was a good tournament and I played pretty solid, especially today. I hit the ball well most of the week and was able to get up and down when I needed to," Mory said. "It was a good feeling. I worked a lot this winter on getting my mental in shape because I think I've struggled a lot in the past. Putting that together today helped me a lot."
Saturday's round was second only to the historic 69 Park fired to lead the Orange and Blue to the school's fifth-best finish at October's Shootout at the Legends. Following two rounds of 78, the Winnetka, Ill. native leapt 14 spots into a three-way tie for 14th place.
"My iron shots helped a lot today," Park said. "The past couple days they weren't working, but today they came together. After yesterday's round I kind of figured out what I was doing wrong with my iron shots, and that's why I scored a lot lower today. Also I made six-for-six up and downs."
Only Park's double-bogey off tee No. 2 prevented her from reaching par on a day when Northwestern (889) and Michigan's Amy Schmucker (two-over-par, 215) claimed medalist honors.
Rio Verde Invitational Final results 1. Northwestern 302-295-292=889 2. Michigan 310-297-300=907 3. Arkansas−Little Rock 322-293-296=911 4. Texas Tech 309-304-303=916 5. Western Michigan 307-314-304=925 6. Iowa 308-316-304=928 7. Eastern Michigan 312-310-307=929 8. ILLINOIS 311-317-305=933 9. Missouri State 311-315-310=936 T10. Bradley 313-313-313=939 T10. Ohio 316-315-308=939 12. Indiana 316-314-310=940 T13. Southern Illinois 323-308-310=941 T13. Toledo 315-322-304=941 15. Xavier 332-307-303=942 16. Ball State 329-320-323=972 17. Bowling Green State 322-329-323=974