Illini Come Up Just Short in Second Place Finish
Sept. 17, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - After falling behind in the second day of the Minnesota Invitational, the Illinois Women's golf team's comeback effort came up short Tuesday, taking second place at +39, finishing one stroke behind tournament champion Kent State. The Illini fought from behind most of the day, but a strong performance by freshman Stephanie Miller on the back nine put the Illini in a position to take the lead. On the back nine of the final round, Miller shot a birdie, an eagle and two more birdies on holes 12-15 to lead the Illinois comeback effort.
"Stephanie (Miller) got off to a pretty rough start and was struggling a bit and she hung in there and she fought hard and was able to turn things around," said Illinois head coach Renee Slone. "Talk about a momentum changer not only for her but for her teammates as well. They heard and that lifted their spirits and they were able to make some birdies, too. So I'm really proud of how she hung in there and fought hard."
Miller played a strong three rounds of golf over the two day tournament, finishing +6 and second individually. Senior Ember Schuldt also played consistently over the three rounds, shooting a +3, +2, and +2 to finish +7 and third individually. At the end of the final round however, the Illini didn't get the result they were hoping for.
"We played a respectable round," continued Slone. "It was not good, however the conditions today were a bit more challenging then they were yesterday, a bit more wind especially during our last six holes or so. They (Kent State) had a particular player who went out and shot 68 and on that golf course today was a phenomenal round and that was the difference maker for them."
In addition, after shooting an even par to lead all golfers in the first round, Freshman Emily Joers went on to shoot a +11, tying for eighth overall individually. Redshirt-junior Sam Postillion shot +15, tying for 18th overall.
"All in all it was a solid tournament for us, putting ourselves in contention to win. Hopefully we can learn from this experience and grow so the next time we are in this position we can really finish it off well."
The Illini have some time off to regroup before traveling to Iowa City, Iowa on October 12th for the Diane Thomason Invitational.