Samantha Sloan tallied back-to-back rounds of 76 to lead the Illini on day one of the Windy City Collegiate Classic.
Oct. 6, 2008
SKOKIE, Ill. - Illinois (613) notched its best single round score of the season thus far with a 299 in the second round of the Windy City Collegiate Classic, a 15-stroke improvement on the team's opening round score of 314. The Illini are tied for eighth with Iowa State after 36 holes at the par-72 6,320-yard Evanston Golf Club, but just 11 strokes out of the top three.
"Despite the challenges in the morning, the team was still able to battle back and post a solid round in the afternoon," head coach Renee Slone said. "The morning was a bit of a struggle, but the team maintained their focus and rebounded later in the day. The conditions were actually more challenging in the afternoon, so I'm really proud of the way they hung in there."
The Orange and Blue tallied their first sub-300 round of the season, which Slone believes is the first of many more to come.
"We have been able to break that barrier, and anytime you do that once, it becomes a lot easier, so hopefully that will become a habit now," Slone said.
Freshman Samantha Sloan (152) led the way for the Illini with back-to-back rounds of 76 and sits in a tie for 22nd. Freshman Hailey Koschmann (154) opened the day with an 82, but charged back in the afternoon by firing an even-par 72, placing her in a tie for 28th. Senior Nancy Featherstone (157) and sophomore Raquel Hopton (157) are tied for 39th after each bounced back with improved round two scores. Featherstone shot an 82 in the morning, but tallied a 3-over 75 in the afternoon. Hopton, making her season debut, turned in an opening round 81 followed by a second round 76.
"We really got that consistency that we have been looking for all the way down the line," Slone said. "Everyone was in the 70s in the second round, which is what we have been working toward."
Freshman Nora Lucas notched an opening round 75, but was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard after the second round. Freshman Abby Cotter (162) competed as an individual and is tied for 52nd after rounds of 77 and 85.
Purdue (591) leads second-place Michigan (599) by eight strokes, while the Boilermakers' Junthima Gulyanamitta (138) paces the individual field by 5 strokes after back-to-back rounds of 69. Oklahoma (602) sits in third place, a stroke ahead of Arizona (603) and TCU (603), who are tied for fourth.
The tournament will conclude on Tuesday morning with a single round beginning at 8 a.m. CT. For continued coverage of the Illinois women's golf team at the Windy City Collegiate Classic, visit fightingillini.com for a full recap following the conclusion of the tournament. Fans also can follow the action live at fightingillini.com by clicking on the Livestats link.
TEAM LEADERBOARD THROUGH 36 HOLES
1. Purdue 301-290 - 591 (+15)
2. Michigan 300-299 - 599 (+23)
3. Oklahoma 301-301 - 602 (+26)
T4. Arizona 297-306 - 603 (+27)
T4. TCU 306-297 - 603 (+27)
6. Texas 308-303 - 611 (+35)
7. Northwestern 311-301 - 612 (+36)
T8. ILLINOIS 314-299 - 613 (+37)
T8. Iowa State 303-310 - 613 (+37)
10. East Carolina 320-301 - 621 (+45)
11. UNC-Wilmington 309-313 - 622 (+46)
12. UNLV 318-310 - 628 (+52)
13. Texas State 312-320 - 632 (+56)
ILLINOIS RESULTS THROUGH 36 HOLES
T22. Samantha Sloan 76-76 - 152 (+8)
T28. Hailey Koschmann 82-72 - 154 (+10)
T39. Nancy Featherstone 82-75 - 157 (+13)
T39. Raquel Hopton 81-76 - 157 (+13)
T52. Abby Cotter (I) 77-85 - 162 (+18)
DQ Nora Lucas 75-D - D