Senior Kristine Cook helped the Orange and Blue earn their first tournament victory since the 2006 Plantation Inn Invitational.
March 15, 2008
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Illinois earned its first tournament victory since the 2006 Plantation Inn Invitational thanks to a final round total of 301 at the par-70 5,907-yard Mark Bostick Golf Course. The Orange and Blue completed the Gainesville Shootout III with a tournament total of 916, edging out Texas State (918) by two strokes.
"I am very excited about the victory," Illinois coach Renee Slone said. "It was great to see everyone's hard work from the winter pay off. It's a big confidence booster and a great way to start the season.
"The practice round was only our second time outdoors this season, which just shows how valuable having the Demirjian Indoor Golf Facility during the winter is."
Freshman Raquel Hopton (75-70-76-221) recorded a career-best third-place finish after tallying a final round 76. Hopton's third-place finish comes in only her third career tournament. She had previously placed 69th and tied for 52nd in two fall tournaments.
Senior Kristine Cook (78-78-74-230) led the balanced scoring attack on the final day with a 74, tying her for 14th with fellow senior Seul Ki Park (77-78-75-230), who carded a final round 75. Cook notched a career-low tournament total (230) and her best finish since the 2006 Hawkeye Intercollegiate where she also tied for 14th. Park has now finished in the top-18 in six straight tournaments.
Senior Stephanie Mory (79-82-76-237) rounded out the scoring for the Illini with a round of 76, tying her for 32nd. Senior Kristin Kallergis (85-80-76-241) matched her career-low round with a 76 on Saturday, tying her for 44th, but her score did not count toward the team total.
"Obviously, we had very balanced scoring today," Slone said. "We are starting to get that consistency that we have been looking for."
After withdrawing from the first two rounds of the Gainesville Shootout III, junior Nancy Featherstone competed as an individual on Saturday, carding a round of 81.
"It was good for Nancy to get a round under her belt before Alabama," Slone said.
Alex Rankin (72-68-77-217) of Wofford College earned medalist honors, edging out Ashley Olynick (73-78-69-220) of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by three strokes.
Illinois improved on each round of the tournament, helping them tie the ninth-lowest 54-hole tournament total (916) in school history.
"We have struggled with improving on each round in the past, so it was a good sign to see us get better with each round," Slone said.
The Illini will compete in the Samford Women's Intercollegiate at the Limestone Springs Golf Course in Oneonta, Ala., from March 17-18. The Orange and Blue will play 36-holes on Monday followed by a final round on Tuesday. For coverage of the Illinois women's golf team at the Samford Women's Intercollegiate, visit fightingillini.com for a full recap after each day.
FINAL TEAM LEADERBOARD 1. ILLINOIS 309-306-301 - 916 2. Texas State 301-313-304 - 918 3. Michigan 309-302-309 - 920 4. Illinois State 308-309-307 - 924 5. Texas A&M-CC 308-315-310 - 933 6. Louisiana-Monroe 313-314-308 - 935 7. Wofford College 316-306-319 - 941 8. Nevada 314-323-306 - 943 T9. Iowa 321-310-319 - 950 T9. West Florida 311-322-317 - 950 T9. Southern Mississippi 322-315-313 - 950 12. Troy 326-318-314 - 958 13. Appalachian State 320-323-321 - 964 14. Texas Pan-American 315-329-330 - 974 15. Albany 350-342-339 - 1031
FINAL ILLINOIS RESULTS 3. Raquel Hopton 75-70-76 - 221 (+11) T14. Seul Ki Park 77-78-75 - 230 (+20) T14. Kristine Cook 78-78-74 - 230 (+20) T32. Stephanie Mory 79-82-76 - 237 (+27) T44. Kristin Kallergis 85-80-76 - 241 (+31) WD Nancy Featherstone WD-WD-81