Illini Sit Atop Standings Heading Into Final Round
Oct. 12, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa. – For the second time in three tournaments, the Illini women's golf team has claimed first place heading into the final round at the Diane Thomason Invitational. Illinois sits atop a leader board that features four other schools ranked in the top-50 and four other schools in the Big Ten.
The Orange and Blue shot a 299 in round one and followed that up with a 301 in round two, good for a +24 on the day. They lead No. 42 Kansas by one stroke, No. 41 GRU Augusta by three, and conference rival No. 18 Ohio State by six.
"It was a pretty solid day," Illinois head coach Renee Slone said. "We have put ourself in the position we want to be in and have a great opportunity heading into tomorrow's round. We just need to focus on our process and stick to it."
Freshman Stephanie Miller produced her best 36-hole start in her young career as she shot a 144 even par. Her afternoon score of 70 was already her second round under par this season. Furthermore, in both rounds today, Miller rattled off three consecutive birdies on the back nine. Miller looks to claim her first individual tournament win as she currently leads the field by three strokes.
"Stephanie Miller had a very solid day," Slone stated. "She played well in the first round, struggled with the finish, which then kind of motivated her for the next round. She was able to rattle off some birdies and finish strong in the afternoon. Tomorrow she just needs to go out and stick to her game plan."
Emily Joers captured what every golfer hopes to accomplish in their lifetime, when she recorded a hole-in-one on the eighth hole par three in the second round. It was the first in her career. The freshman shot a 153 (+9) with rounds of 80 and 73.
"She made a really solid swing with her six iron and took it right at the hole," assistant coach Jenny Coluccio explained. "Her mom was sitting behind the green and we saw her reaction to it first. It was very exciting and certainly gave her a boost. The best part was that she followed that hole up with a birdie, which doesn't always happen with people. It kind of gave a jolt to the rest of the team."
Both Sam Postillion and Ember Schuldt are in the top-12 after great first rounds but slight hiccups in the second. Postillion shot a 73 and a 78 for a 151 (+7) while Schuldt scored a 72 and a 80 for a 152 (+8).
The Illini continue their quest for a tournament win Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. CT.