Illini Jump Five Spots to Fourth Place on Day Two
April 26, 2014
FRENCH LICK, Ind. - This morning, the Fighting Illini coaching staff nicknamed day two at the Big Ten Championships 'moving day' and that's exactly what transpired in round two at the Pete Dye Course. Illinois shot the second lowest round total on the day with a 296 (+8), with only Michigan State scoring lower with a 293 (+5). As a result, the Orange and Blue moved from a tie for ninth to sole possession of fourth place with a 612 total (+36).
"We got off to a hot start," said Illinois head coach Renee Slone. "We started on #10 and had players making birdies left and right. It was a very strong start and the energy was great, everyone was feeding off one another. We had a couple chip ins by players and it really got the momentum going."
Not only was the five spot jump in the standings an impressive one, but also historic as well. Today's 296 was the lowest round total recorded at the Big Ten Championships in Illinois history, with the previous low of 299 posted back in 2002.
Ember Schuldt, Stephanie Miller, Erin Ahern and Emily Joers stepped up for the Orange and Blue on Saturday. Both Schuldt and Miller carded a 73 (+1), each accumulating a team high four birdies on the day. Schuldt is now +6 and remains five strokes off the leader, while Miller climbed 17 spots and is now tied for 11th place.
Erin Ahern produced one of the best Illinois turnaround performances of the year. After scoring a +18 in the first round, the junior recorded a career low even par (72) round on Saturday, shooting one-under-par on the back-nine.
Emily Joers rounded out the Illinois scorecard with a 78 (+6). The freshman is now +16 after two rounds at the Big Ten Championships.
Sam Postillion recorded a second round score of 80 (+8), shooting a +4 on both the front and back nine. Postillion is tied for 41st heading into the final round. Finally, Jackie Calamaro improved her first round score by one stroke today, carding an 80 as well.
"We played solid, smart golf all day," added Slone. "With the second best score of the day we were able to make a move and we will build on what we did today. There were a lot of positives and we learned a lot about the course that we will use tomorrow."
The Illini sit four strokes off of Northwestern (608, +32) in third place, while Michigan State and Ohio State are tied for first (598, +22). Individually, the Buckeyes duo of Zoe-Beth Brake and Jessica Porvasnik hold the top spot with a 145 (+1) each.
Tomorrow the women's golf Big Ten Championships will get underway starting at 7 a.m. CT. Be sure to follow the live scoring on Golfstat.com.
"We'll go in with the same idea we had today," concluded Slone. "Continue to be aggressive, picking lines with golf shots and putts and trusting in ourselves. We'll be confident and leave it all on the course."