Illini Gear Up for Big Ten Championships
April 24, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois women’s golf team will compete in the 2014 Big Ten Championships starting this Friday, April 25, at 8 a.m. CT. The Illini return to French Lick, Ind., but this time, they'll be playing at the par 72, 6,017 yard Pete Dye Golf Course. All 12 Big Ten schools are scheduled to participate in this weekend's tournament, where they'll comepte with six golfers, but only count the top four individual scores from each round. Competing teams are arranged to play one round per day with tee times beginning at 8:00 a.m. CT on both Friday and Saturday and at 7:00 a.m. CT on Sunday.
“We’ve really practiced our short game in preparation for Big Ten’s,” stated Illinois head coach Renee Slone. “Coming into the week we wanted to be very specific and diligent. We wanted to really work on tight lies and using the putter from many different areas on the green along with our ball striking.”
The Orange and Blue will have a good idea of what to expect from its competition, having already competed against every Big Ten school this spring except for Northwestern. Speaking of the Wildcats, they are one of four schools in the field ranked in the top-50 in the April 23 Golfweek poll: No. 12 Northwestern, No. 25 Ohio State, No. 31 Michigan State, and No. 48 Wisconsin.
The Fighting Illini will look to rally behind the following: Ember Schuldt, Samantha Postillion, Jacqueline Calamaro, Erin Ahern, Stephanie Miller and Emily Joers. Of the six, Schuldt is the only one with multiple years of experience at the Big Ten Championships, and was also part of the 2012 squad that finished fifth at the event and went on to NCAA Regionals. The senior has the lowest spring stroke average on the team (75.20) and has recorded the lowest round (67) as well. Also keep an eye on Miller and Postillion, who have combined to lead the team six times over the year.
“The Pete Dye Course is an interesting one as you are playing around a hill,” said Coach Slone. “It’s important we have good course management, utilize the skills we have practiced, and take advantage of the opportunities presented to us.”