Ember Schuldt leads the Illini through the first day with an individual total of 156.
April 20, 2013
Columbus, Ohio –The Fighting Illini women's golf team wrapped up the first day's contest at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, hosted by Ohio State University, with a tournament total of 635 (+59). The event's first day of competition featured two full rounds of golf wherein the Illini posted scores of 315 and 320, respectively. With their total of 635 the Orange and Blue currently occupy 11th place in the field of 12 teams, which features a total of nine Big Ten squads. Competition will recommence tomorrow when tee times will now begin at 9 a.m. CST due to expectations of a heavy morning frost.
The Lady Buckeye Invite allows each team to travel six of their golfers who are all permitted to participate, but only the best four scores from each team count toward a team's tournament total. Throughout the first round, the Illini fared solidly enough to card a team total of 315 (+27), which was sufficient to put them in ninth place. Heading into the second round, the Illini trailed Ohio State and Kent State by just one stroke and were a mere eight strokes off the lead, held by Penn State at 307. Despite the tight competition in round one, the field spread out significantly in the second round, with three teams carding sub-300 totals while the Illini added five strokes to their score to drop to 11th. The Nittany Lions took the hardest hit between rounds, matching the Illini's 320 (+32) and dropping from first all the way to ninth.
Leading the tournament overall are the 14th-ranked Boilermakers of Purdue (605/+29), who have a one stroke advantage on Michigan State (606) and a two stroke lead on the Northwestern Wildcats (607). Host school Ohio State will enter the third and final round in fourth place with a team total of 615. The Wisconsin Badgers (620) round out the top five places in the Big Ten-dominated pool of teams.
Illinois junior Ember Schuldt (156) has led the Illini the throughout the duration of both rounds with her scores of 77 and 79. After two rounds of action, Schuldt is in a nine-way tie for 22nd individually. Trailing Schuldt are teammates Samantha Postillion (158) and Michelle Mayer (158), who both sit in a six-way tie for 35th place overall. The fourth-best score for the Illini, and last score counted toward the Illini's tournament total, came from Pimploy Thirati (164), who returned to the lineup for the Orange and Blue after missing the last tournament. Illinois' Kaitlyn Wampler (167) and Jacqueline Calamaro (170) fill out the remainder of Illinois' traveling team at the Lady Buckeye Invite.
Purdue's Laura Gonzalez sits atop the tournament standings after the first two rounds, carding a solid 146 (+2) with a two-stroke advantage on Michigan State's Liz Nagel and Northwestern's Elizabeth Szokol in second place. Kent State's Jennifer Ha (149), the only non-Big Ten golfer in the top-13 individuals, has sole possession of fourth place, followed closely by Aurora Kan of Purdue and Amy Meier of Ohio State in fifth at the 151 stroke mark.
The Orange and Blue will resume play again tomorrow April 21 when they tee off at 9 a.m. CT. for the third and final round of the Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.