Freshman walk-on Nora Lucas will compete in the second straight tournament for the Illini at the Badger Invitational.
Sept. 24, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's golf team heads to Verona, Wis., to compete in the Badger Invitational this weekend, Sept. 27-28. The Orange and Blue tee it up for 36 holes on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday, each day beginning with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. (CT) at the par-72 6,216-yard University Ridge Golf Course.
Illinois joins No. 2 California and four Big Ten teams, Indiana, Minnesota, Penn State and host Wisconsin, in the 12-team field along with non-conference foes College of Charleston, Georgetown, Kennesaw State, Maryland, Southern Methodist and Tulane. The Illini have never competed in this tournament, but head coach Renee Slone believes the team is prepared for the upcoming competition after its 10th-place finish at the Chip-N-Club Invitational.
"Our freshmen really learned a lot about college golf at the first tournament," Slone said. "They realized that they didn't need to put any extra pressure on themselves even though it was a different level of competition.
"They understand that the goal is still the same as before, and hopefully, they will apply that knowledge this weekend and just enjoy themselves."
Senior Nancy Featherstone and four freshmen, Hailey Koschmann, Katelin Dilger, Nora Lucas and Samantha Sloan, will compete for the Illini at the team's second fall tournament. Freshman Kaitlyn Wampler will also participate as an individual. Dilger and Wampler make their collegiate debuts, while Featherstone makes her season debut this weekend.
"Nancy will provide senior leadership at this event, and the freshmen who have already competed will also be able to assist Katie (Dilger) and Kaitlyn (Wampler) in adjusting to the tournament process," Slone said.
The Orange and Blue look to improve with each event this season, and coach Slone simply wants each player to remain focused on every shot and not worry about the competition.
"We are just going to go out there and play the best golf we possibly can, and then see where that puts us at the end of the tournament," Slone said.
For coverage of the Illinois women's golf team at the Badger Invitational, visit fightingillini.com for a full recap at the end of each day's action. Fans also can follow the action live by visiting fightingillini.com and clicking on the Badger Invitational "Livestats" link.