Freshman Nora Lucas led Illinois during the final round on Tuesday with a career-best 74.
March 10, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Illinois (915) carded a final round 305 at the inaugural Eagle Landing Invitational as each team member tallied a season-best performance. The Orange and Blue also turned in their lowest team score of the season thus far and placed ninth in the 15-team field. They were paced by freshman Samantha Sloan (226), who led the Illini charge for the fourth consecutive tournament.
Sloan fired a final round 75 at the par-72 6,282-yard Eagle Landing Country Club and finished tied for 15th.
"Sammi has made some big strides," head coach Renee Slone said. "She is a great ball striker and gives herself a lot of opportunities. She can take her game to the next level by capitalizing on those chances and continuing to improve her short game."
Freshman Nora Lucas (233) shot Illinois' low round on Tuesday with a season-best 74 to finish tied for 45th and best her previous season-low tournament total by five strokes.
"It was definitely a very solid round for Nora," Slone said. "It was a step in the right direction for her and a big confidence boost to move forward."
Freshman Katelin Dilger (231) added her second straight round of 76 and improved her season-low tournament total by nine strokes to finish tied for 40th. Senior Nancy Featherstone (233) and sophomore Raquel Hopton (234) each shot rounds of 80 to conclude the event and set season-low tournament totals. Featherstone finished tied with Lucas in 45th, while Hopton tied for 52nd.
The Illini posted a season-low 299 for the second time this season during yesterday's second round, which Slone hopes the team can build upon and continue to do in the future.
"This golf course was playing firm and fast, so it was set-up to score on," Slone said. "We posted a solid number in the afternoon yesterday, and it's always good to break that 300 number."
Chattanooga (866) won the event by 13 strokes followed by East Carolina (879) in second place. South Florida (889), Kennesaw State (895) and Yale (908) rounded out the top five.
Chattanooga's Emma deGroot earned medalist honors, besting the individual field by four strokes with a 4-under 212.
Up Next: Illinois will tee it up again in two weeks when the team heads west to Junction City, Ore., for its spring break tournament. The Illini will compete in the Duck Invitational on March 23-24 for the first time in school history.