Jackie Calamaro had best round of 71 at the season opening Colonel Wollenberg's Ram Classic.
Oct. 11, 2012
Champaign, Ill. - After a three-week hiatus, the Illini women's golf team is back in action this weekend for the penultimate tournament of the fall season. After tying for third at its most recent event, the Wolverine Invitational, Illinois returns to action Oct. 13-14 at the Hoosier Fall Invitational hosted by the Belterra Resort in Florence, Ind.
"Having three tournaments back-to-back-to-back gave us some great information," Illinois head coach Renee Slone said of the busy September stretch. "With some time off from competition, we were able to develop a plan of attack for each player. I think we've had some great practices. Everyone feels very well-prepared and confident and looking forward to having a great tournament."
Traditionally, most of the Big Ten teams made up the field at the Lady Northern during a weekend in early October. The host of the tournament rotated to the site of that year's Big Ten Championship. However, with the Big Ten moving its championship permanently to French Lick, Ind., the Lady Northern is no longer on the schedule and the conference schools have found other tournaments to fill that date.
Many of those Big Ten teams will be represented at Belterra along the banks of the Ohio River. The 12-team field includes five from the league: Indiana, Minnesota Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. The rest of the teams are Illinois State, Ball State, Boston College, East Tennessee State, Delaware, Augusta State and Missouri.
"The course seems very similar to Stone Creek," Slone said of the 6,200-yard, par-72 Belterra Resort course. "As a result, we have been spending the majority of our practice time at Stone Creek."
On paper, Illinois will be one of the favorites to win the team title as the Illini are one of four teams in the field receiving votes in the latest Golf World/Nike Top 25. The others are Ball State, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Illinois will be sending the same starting five that it did in the three September tournaments: junior Ember Schuldt and sophomores Jacqueline Calamaro, Michelle Mayer, Samantha Postillion and Pimploy Thirati. Senior Crystal Smith also will be competing as an individual.
The Illini had three players in the top 12 at the Wolverine Invitational. Schuldt shot a final-round 72 to tie for sixth with Mayer, who shot a 74 in the third round at the event. Postillion, who paces the Illini with a 76.44 stroke average, finished 12th. Illinois was just three strokes out of first as a team.
"Our goal is to see four solid scores every round," Slone said. "That has been a real challenge for us. However, there are a lot of players right there knocking on the door. Hopefully this is the tournament where everything comes together."
Fans can follow live scoring at golfstatresults.com.