Junior Raquel Hopton had a first round 67 and is currently tied for 10th at the Challenge at Onion Creek.
Nov. 2, 2009
Austin, Texas -
Once again the Illinois women's golf team had a strong start, this time at the Challenge at Onion Creek at the Onion Creek Club North Course in Austin, Texas. Playing in their final tournament of the fall, the Illini shot a first round total of 287, seven strokes over par, and entered the second round in a tie for fourth place with Augusta State.
Second round play was suspended at 6:05 p.m. due to darkness, with only a few holes left to be played. When it was suspended, Illinois was through the 12 through 15 holes and in 9th place with a score of 15-over par overall and eight-over par for the second round. The second round will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday with the start of the third and final round to follow immediately after.
Junior Raquel Hopton led the way for the Orange and Blue in round one as she tallied four birdies and one bogey en route to a three-under par 67, just three strokes off the lead. Hopton's 67 was her career best for a low round score and she is the first Illini this year to break 70.
"The first round was solid," said head coach Renee Slone. "Raquel played very well. She made it very simple for herself. Sammi (Samantha Sloan) was just steady. Obviously, she didn't made many mistakes. It was a solid round, but we always say we can improve."
Sloan carded a first round two-over par 72, a career best for a low round score, which was good enough for a tie for 27th. Sloan had 15 pars in the round. Sophomore Nora Lucas is in a tie for 39th after a three-over 73. Sophomores Kaitlyn Wampler and Katelin Dilger both finished the first round with a five-over 75, for 65th place. Dilger's 75 was also her career best for a low round score.
"Several of the players said how they really were enjoying playing out there," Slone said. "You can see the correlation between enjoying yourself and playing well and we told them that probably wasn't a coincidence."
Sloan and Hopton, both through the 12th hole, were in a tie for 10th at one-over par when play was suspended, with Sloan one-under par on the round and Hopton four-over par. Wampler was also through the 12th hole, in a tie for 54th at six-over par and one-over on the round. Rounding out the Illini were Dilger at nine-over par overall and four-over par on the round, and Lucas at ten-over par overall and seven-over par in the second round. Dilger and Lucas were through the 15th and 14th holes, respectively.
"We are really staying focused on the process as always," Slone said. "We're ready to end on a high note."