Illinois Secures Fifth-Place Finish at Big Ten Championships
April 29, 2012
FRENCH LICK, Ind. - The Illinois women's golf team completed the third and final round of the 2012 Big Ten Championships Sunday, posting a 302 (+14) to match the program's best finish since 2002. The Illini took fifth place with a 54-hole total of 906 (+42), six strokes behind fourth place Michigan (900). It marked the best finish under head coach Renee Slone and the first time two Illini placed in the top 10 in her six years at the helm.
"Overall, it was a pretty solid tournament for us," Slone said. "I felt we got off to a very good start. For the entire tournament, we did see a lot of spots where we could have saved ourselves a number of shots, either through course management or putting. If we could have had a good, solid putting tournament, it would have saved us a lot of shots. We just needed those third and fourth scores each day. We had a solid round every single time, but we needed those third and fourth rounds. A top-three finish would have been terrific and could have happened if a few things go our way here and there."
Individually, senior Nora Lucas led the Illini, posting a 74 (+2) in the final round to finish the tournament in ninth place at 221 (+5), marking the top individual finish by an Illini since she tied for sixth as a freshman in 2009. Senior Hailey Koschmann (223) finished two strokes behind Lucas and notched her best Big Ten career finish, tying for 10th after shooting a 75 (+3) in the third round. Sophomore Ember Schuldt (232) carded a third round 77 (+5) to finish in a tie for 30th place.
Senior Katelin Dilger (233) placed 32nd after posting a 79 (+7) in third round, while freshman Michelle Mayer (234) tied for 33rd, as her third round score of 76 (+4) was her best of the tournament. Senior Samantha Sloan carded a 79 (+7) to tie for 48th place.
Michigan State (885) took the conference title with Purdue (895) and Ohio State (898) rounding out the top three. Purdue's Laura Gonzalez (216) took first place followed by Michigan State's Lindsey Solberg (217) in second.
"We will find out the NCAA Regional selections tomorrow night," Slone said. "We will plan our practice plans accordingly, but I do foresee a good amount of work on putting in our future."
NCAA Regional selections will be announced on Monday, April 30. If selected as an at-large team, Illinois will compete at regionals from May 10-12.
Big Ten Championships Final Results