Championship season has begun for the Fighting Illini Golf program, as the Women’s Golf team opens up Big Ten Tournament play today at TPC River’s Bend outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The story for the Illini this spring has been the play of both Sophomore Tristyn Nowlin and Senior Grace Park. While Park (ranked 93rd nationally) has continued to lead the team in scoring average (72.32 strokes per round), Nowlin (ranked 80th nationally) has come roaring into Big Ten’s playing at a stroke better than her average in the fall. Both players have posted Top 10 individual finishes in the final three tournaments of the regular season, including Grace Park’s medalist performance at last week’s Lady Buckeye Invitational. Nationally, the Illini are ranked 22nd as a team.
All roads to the Big Ten Women’s Golf Championship continue to run through the Michigan State Spartans and the Northwestern Wildcats, two teams that have led the conference standings wire to wire. Combined, both teams have won the last 7 conference tournaments.
This is the final chance for Illinois to build their resume towards an NCAA Regional Championship birth. Last season, Illinois finished 11th in the Albuquerque Regional and 37th overall. While there is a very likely chance the Illini will return to Regionals, the team will be looking to make a run at an NCAA Tournament qualification (their first in program history).
All three rounds will be played this weekend, with the first round already underway (9am CST). Play on Saturday and Sunday is scheduled to begin at 7:30am CST and 7:00am CST respectively, and you can follow the live scoring of the event thanks to Golfstat.com