Senior Stephanie Mory tallied a career-best finish at the Illini Spring Classic, tying for third.
April 5, 2008
URBANA, Ill. - The University of Illinois women's golf team earned its 11th Illini Spring Classic victory in school history and first ever under head coach Renee Slone. Illinois carded a tournament total of 924 at the par-72 6,244-yard Stone Creek Golf Club, its home course. The Illini finished nine strokes ahead of Cincinnati and Southern Illinois, who tied for second with totals of 933.
The Orange and Blue opened the day with a round of 311, and trailed the leader, Southern Illinois, by a single stroke through 36 holes. The resilient Illini battled back in the afternoon, carding a 294, the fourth-lowest round in school history. Slone won her first Spring Classic as a head coach since last year's event was cancelled, and the Illini tallied a Classic victory for the first time since 2005.
"This morning wasn't that great of a round, but the girls responded very well and played great this afternoon," Slone said. "We told the girls to keep their heads in the game after the first round, and they did just that."
Senior Seul Ki Park (229) shot an 81 in the first round of the day, but bounced back and fired a tournament-low even-par 72 to finish in second place, one stroke behind medalist winner Bambee Dela Paz (228) of Cincinnati. Park notched her seventh-career second-place finish and first since the Challenge at Wolfdancer during the 2007 fall season.
Senior Stephanie Mory (230) tallied a career-best finish, tying for third. She improved her first round of the day (77) by five strokes with a tournament-low even-par 72. Freshman Raquel Hopton (231) carded rounds of 77 and 74, tying for 5th and tallying her second top-five finish in the last three tournaments.
Senior Kristine Cook (234) carded back-to-back rounds of 76 to tie for 10th, her second straight top-ten finish. Senior Kristin Kallergis (242) competed as an individual and tied for 35th after rounds of 78 and 82. Junior Nancy Featherstone (251) turned in scores of 81 and 82, tying for 54th.
"The girls were mentally tough today," volunteer assistant coach Rick Slone said. "I was very proud of them for fighting adversity throughout the 36 holes today."
Bradley (939) and Toledo (942) rounded out the top five, while Western Michigan (960), Indiana State (966), Northern Illinois (967), Ferris State (969) and Grand Valley State (970) made up the rest of the top ten.
Scoring averages improved with each round of the tournament. Friday's average round totaled 85.03, while both rounds on Saturday were nearly five strokes better, averaging 80.30 and 80.14, respectively. The 54-hole average for the tournament was 81.82.
Western Michigan's Laura Bavaird (t3rd) and Southern Illinois' Kelly Gerlach (t5th) and Lauren May (t10th) also fired tournament-low rounds of even-par 72 on the day.
Up Next: The Orange and Blue golfers travel to Carmel, Ind., for the Indiana Invitational from April 7-8. The 54-hole tournament will be played at the par-72 5,924-yard Crooked Stick Golf Club.
Illinois joins Ball State, Illinois State, Indiana, Lipscomb, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, No. 6 Purdue, Texas and UNLV in the 15-team field, containing eight Big Ten competitors.
Senior Seul Ki Park looks to defend her title after earning her first career victory at last year's tournament, leading the Illini to a third-place finish.
Full results and recaps from the Indiana Invitational can be found on fightingillini.com following the completion of each day. Live scoring can be found on golfstat.com by clicking on the tournament link.