The Illinois State women’s golf team finished in 15th place at the Golfweek Challenge in Wolcott, Colo., from Sept. 23-25. At the conclusion of the first day of the event on Monday, the Redbirds accumulated a team score of 330 and ended the day in 16th place overall.
Senior Brianna Cooper led the squad on the first day with an individual score of 79, including two birdies, and was tied for 40th place overall. Pepperdine led the pack on the team leaderboard with a team score of 289 at the conclusion of Monday’s round of play. Three PU golfers were tied atop the individual leader board.
ISU head women’s golf coach Darby Sligh was disappointed with the way the Redbirds concluded Monday’s round of play.
“We surrendered to a very difficult golf course today by dropping 13 shots in our last three holes,” Sligh said. “Had we finished strong, we would be singing a much different tune. Red Sky exposes your weaknesses, and it did that on the greens.
“There are positives we can take out, but there are many areas of our games that need immediate attention headed into Tuesday’s round. It will definitely be a moving day mentality for us.”
After the second day of play on Tuesday, the Redbirds moved up one spot on the team leaderboard to 15th place with a team score of 652. Junior Hayley Guyton led the team on the second day with an overall score of 161 between the first two rounds.
Guyton shot three birdies in the second round. Pepperdine was atop the team leader board for the second day in a row with an overall team score of 585. This time around, two of the Waves’ golfers were tied atop the individual leader board.
Sligh was pleased with ISU’s upswing from the first day to the second day, but noted that improvement still needed to be made heading into the final round of play.
“[Tuesday] showed numerous bright spots after a tough start yesterday,” Sligh said. “We learned more about the course over the last day that we were able to use to our advantage, but our execution needs a bit more work to climb over a few teams. I’m proud of their comeback and excited to take on this golf course one more day.”
At the conclusion of the tournament on Wednesday, the Redbirds remained in the same spot on the team leader board as the day before and finished the tournament in 15th place with an overall team score of 978.
Guyton earned the highest overall individual score for the Redbirds in the tournament, finishing at 240, including shooting a team-best score of 79 on the final day of the tournament.
The junior earned a 49th place tie on the individual leaderboard in the tournament. Pepperdine continued to be at the top of the pack of the team leaderboard, winning the tournament by 36 strokes with an overall team score of 869. Waves senior Grace Na topped the individual leaderboard with an overall score of 210.
The Redbirds will return to action at the LPGA Xavier Invitational from Oct. 5-7 in Daytona Beach, Fla.