The Orange and Blue placed fifth last year at the Big Tens, but only Schuldt and Mayer will return from last year's lineup for the Illini.
April 24, 2013
French Lick, Ind. - The Illinois women's golf team will travel to French Lick, Ind., on Friday to compete in the 2013 Big Ten Championships. All 12 Big Ten schools are scheduled to participate in the tournament. The Big Ten Championships will be played out at the par-72, 6,121-yard Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort and will feature an identical tournament format to the Illini's most recent tournament, the Lady Buckeye Invitational. All teams will travel with six golfers, with the top four individual scores from each round counting towards the team total. Competing teams are arranged to play one round per day with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. CT on both Friday and Saturday and at 7 a.m. CT on Sunday.
"We've had some productive practices in preparation for the Big Ten Championships," Head Coach Renee Slone said of this week. "We were able to get out and set up some short-game practice in order to improve our chipping, putting, and bunker play as well as simulate some of the situtations we might see at the Donald Ross Golf Course."
The 2013 Big Ten Championships will feature a field of 12 Big Ten teams -- a similar consistency and size to the field of teams from last week's Lady Buckeye Invitational, which included nine Big Ten members. Moreover, the Orange and Blue have already competed against all 12 teams in previous contests this season. Among the 12 Big Ten teams participating in the tournament, five bear a top-50 Golfweek/Sagarin rank as of April 23, including the 14th-ranked Boilermakers of Purdue who placed second at the Lady Buckeye Invite. No. 24 Northwestern and No. 25 Michigan State will compete again after placing third and first, respectively, at the Lady Buckeye Invite. Ohio State (42) and 49th-ranked Penn State round out the portion of ranked teams competing in the Big Ten Championships.
The Illini's travel roster for the event will include Samantha Postillion, Ember Schuldt, Michelle Mayer, Pimploy Thirati, Kaitlyn Wampler, and Jacqueline Calamaro -- an identical squad to that of the Lady Buckeye Invite's. The Illini finished fifth at the 2012 Big Ten Championships, which was also held at the Donald Ross Course, but return only two golfers from last year's roster, in Ember Schuldt and Michelle Mayer.
"The Donald Ross Course at French Lick does pose some potential difficulties," said Coach Slone. "It's vital that the team utilizes good course management skills and plays each hole out backwards in their heads to see where their next shots should come from in relation to the hole. The team has gotten in some good practice on upward, downward, and side-sloping hills, which we expect will help us in the upcoming championships."
To follow the action of the Fighting Illini women's golf team at the Big Ten Championships, visit http://www.fightingillini.com/