Illini Head to Arizona for Westbrook Invitational
Feb. 20, 2014
PEORIA, Ariz. - The Illinois women's golf team will kick off its 2014 spring tournament season in Peoria, Ariz., where the team will contend with 13 other teams in the Westbrook Spring Invitational on Feb. 23-24. Hosting the tournament is the Big Ten's very own University of Wisconsin, weighing in with a national rank of 40, just one spot behind the Fighting Illini (39). Competing teams are scheduled to play 36 holes on Sunday and an additional 18 holes on Monday, with a 9:30 a.m. CT shotgun start for both days.
"We just need to go down there and focus on our process and playing solid golf," said Illinois head coach Renee Slone. "We've had some solid practices so far this year and got off to a good start at the Illinois Challenge, building a lot of confidence. Now it's just a matter of going down there and sticking to our game plan."
Joining the Illini and Wisconsin in the 14-team pool from the Big Ten include Indiana, No. 94 Iowa, No. 76 Nebraska, and No. 34 Ohio State. The Orange and Blue will also get a chance to measure up against Golfweek's 22nd ranked Oregon Ducks. The remaining field of play is comprised of No. 53 College of Charleston, Colorado State, Eastern Michigan, No. 90 Kansas State, No. 65 Oregon State, Tulsa, and No. 88 Washington State.
"Certainly at this time of year, we are really focused on ourselves," continued Slone. "We really aren't paying attention to any other teams because we want to see what we're doing well and what areas we need to improve upon."
Scheduled competitors for the Illini at the Westbrook Invitational include senior Ember Schuldt, redshirt junior Samantha Postillion, junior Erin Ahern, and freshmen Stephanie Miller and Emily Joers. All five golfers in Illinois' lineup experienced action throughout the fall season, however, Schuldt and Postillion are the only ones who have previously competed at the Westbrook Invitational.
This weekend's tournament marks the two year anniversary of the Illini's record setting day at the Westbrook Invitational. In 2012, Nora Lucas shot a -11 (205) to record the lowest 54-hole total in program history. In addition, the Illini shot a -11 (288-282-283=853) as well, achieiving the lowest 54-hole team total on their way to claiming the tournament trophy.
Prior to this tournament, the Illini competed in the first weekend of February in the annual Illinois Challenge. The challenge was a match play event versus Illinois State and featured four ball matches followed by individual matches between the two teams. The Orange and Blue defeated Illinois State with a score of 9.5-2.5 and, thereby, remain victors of the Illinois Challenge for the sixth consecutive year.
For coverage of the Illinois women's golf team at the Westbrook Spring Invitational, visit fightingillini.com for a full recap at the end of each day's contest. Fans can also follow the action live by visiting golfstat.com