Women's Golf
Illini Improve by Two Places, Finish 8th at Rio Verde

Seul Ki Park
Seul Ki Park

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

Illinois results 6. Stephanie Mory 75-77-72=224 T14. Seul Ki Park 78-78-72=228 T58. Casey Burden 79-81-81=241 T67. Meghan Naik 80-84-80=244 T67. Megan Godfrey 79-81-84=244 T80. Kristine Cook 79-83-84=246