Senior tri-captain Megan Godfrey
March 8, 2006
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Later this week Illinois gets a chance to play the best when the team travels to Las Vegas for the first time ever.
Before competing in the March 13-15 UNLV Spring Invitational, the Orange and Blue will spend the remainder of the week practicing at home hoping to further the progress from last Saturday's final round in Arizona. There the team shot its second-best closing round of the year.
"I had always heard that it was a good tournament, but it just never worked out in our schedule this year it worked out," head coach Paula Smith said.
In the land of "going all in," the Illini hope to collect a huge haul on the links, starting with Saturday's practice round at the Angel Park Golf Course which features a twelve holes modeled after some of the world's most famous.
Built in 1989, the self-proclaimed "world's most complete golf experience," includes "Island Green" from TPC at Sawgrass, "The Postage Stamp" from Royal Troon and the "Valley of Sin" from St. Andrews. For the short game, which Smith stressed can never be over-practiced, there is an 18-hole putting course, complete with bunkers and other hazards.
Sunday gives the team an opportunity to play a practice round at the tournament site, Boulder Creek Golf Club. Once competitive play starts, Illinois joins a field of 18, highlighted by host UNLV. The Rebels, ranked ninth by Golfstat, boast the Mountain West Conference's Player of the Month, freshman Da Sol Chung.
Ultimately the Illini hope what happens in Vegas will not stay there, rather that it can be brought back as another stride in the right direction.