NCAA Regionals Await Schuldt & Miller
May 6, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Though the team may have ended its season at the Big Ten Championships, two Illini in the form of Ember Schuldt and Stephanie Miller fight on. The Illinois women's golf duo are set to travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma to compete in the NCAA Central Regional Championships on May 8-10. It marks the first time in program history that two Illini golfers qualified for NCAA Regionals.
"This is a huge step for us. It's very exciting for the program and a sign of more great things to come," said Illinois head coach Renee Slone.
The tournament will take place at the 6,200 yard, par-72 Karsten Creek Golf Club and will be hosted by Oklahoma State University. Twenty-four teams and six individuals will compete at each regional site with the low eight teams, and two individuals not on a qualifying team, advancing to the finals held on May 20-23 in Tulsa, Okla.
Schuldt will become the first Illini to compete in three NCAA Regionals (two previously as a team). The senior is coming off a great spring season in which she was named second-team All-Big Ten. Schuldt tied the third lowest single round score at the Web.com Intercollegiate with a -5 (67). The Sterling, Ill., native also led the team with seven top-15 finishes in 2013-14 while also improving her scoring average by 2.38 from a season ago.
"Excited that my hard work over the four years is paying off and I get to experience all that I have," stated Schuldt. "Just looking forward to competing again. It's going to be a great experience this week and I'm just going to go out there and give it all I got."
Miller became the first freshman qualifier in Illinois history. Miller tied Schuldt for the most rounds under par on the team at six. In addition, the freshman recorded two scores of 213 (-3), tying the sixth lowest 54-hole tournament total in school history. The Elgin, Ill., native finished right behind Schuldt in top-15 finishes with six.
"I couldn't have gotten where I am without my coaches who have helped me along through this process and without the support of my teammates," said Miller. "I'm just going to go out there and golf my ball. I don't have any expectations, we'll just see what number I post and how it compares to everybody else."
The format of the tournament will be three rounds of 18 holes each spread out over three days. Both Schuldt and Miller will tee off together at 8:25 am CT from the 10th hole on Thursday, May 8, while Friday's tee time is set at 12:45 pm CT. There are six individuals competing at Regionals and the top two will move on to the NCAA Championships held on May 20-23 in Tulsa, Okla.
"Staying patient and taking it one shot at a time," stated Slone on the focus for Schuldt and Miller. "It is 54 holes so just keep the ball in front of them throughout the course of the tournament and to enjoy each and every moment."