Sophomore Crystal Smith and the Illinois women's golf team will start their spring season in Valdosta, Ga., for the Kinderlou Forest Challenge.
Feb. 25, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois women's golf team will tee off their spring tournament season, as they travel to Valdosta, Ga., for the Kinderlou Forest Challenge on Feb. 27-Mar. 1. The 54-hole tournament, hosted by Kennesaw State, will be played at the par-73, 6,349-yard Kinderlou Forest Golf Club course. Teams will play 18 holes each of the three days, with split tee times on Sunday and Monday, and an 8:30 am CT shotgun start for final round play on Tuesday.
"We finished the fall season on a good note," head coach Renee Slone said. "We had some solid play in the last couple of tournaments, so we really want to pick up right where we left off and actually build upon that. I feel like we've had some very solid practices this spring since the semester started. I feel like a number of players have really grown in the past few months, but also in the past few weeks. I think the team is ready to go, and everybody is looking forward to getting the spring season off in full force."
Illinois will be joined in the 14-team field by one other Big Ten team, Wisconsin, along with No. 10 Georgia, No. 36 Florida State, host Kennesaw State, Augusta State, Central Florida, Chattanooga, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Furman, Georgia State, Texas State and Western Carolina.
"It's a nice mix of teams," Slone said. "I think this is just a great opportunity to once again get out there and play some solid golf. Hopefully we can put ourselves in position to play with a team like Georgia and hopefully come out on top as well."
The Illini will have a familiar line-up, as juniors Hailey Koschmann, Nora Lucas, and Samantha Sloan join freshman Ember Schuldt at the Challenge. Sophomore Crystal Smith will be joining the foursome for the event as well. While this is the first stroke play event for the Illinois they have competed this spring, winning the Illinois Challenge, a dual meet verses Illinois State, on Jan. 29. The Illini look to continue their successes of the fall season and the Illinois Challenge into the spring season, which includes four more regular season tournaments and the Big Ten Championships in late April.
"Hailey, Nora, Sammi, and Ember all have played in every single tournament for us so for this entire season," Slone said. "Obviously that helps establish some consistency there and each one of them has stepped up at different times. I think there just becomes this continuity of understanding the system and how we do things. It's become very well established for them."
For coverage of the Illinois women's golf team at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge, visit fightingillini.com for a full recap at the end of each day's action. Fans can also follow the action live by going to golfstatresults.com.