By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Staff Writer
May 11, 2022
The 2021-22 season for the Illinois women’s golf team has ended with a ninth place finish at the NCAA Regional.
The Illini saw the early end of their slim hopes of what would be a monumental comeback to advance out of the second round of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional due to excellent scoring conditions allowing for the top four teams to easily separate itself from the remaining pack.
Most of the ground Illinois made up on Tuesday was given back early on Wednesday morning as the Illini five players combined to post eight bogeys in their first three holes of team action (15 holes total). Illinois had only one player break 75 in this final round at Seminole Legacy Golf Club and that was the 1-under-par 71 posted by Crystal Wang in her final collegiate competitive round.
Following a disappointing 78 to open the event, Wang played the final 36 holes of this regional at 1-under-par to finish tied for 14th in the race for individual medalist. Wang fired a bogey-free 34 on her final nine holes of college golf, which would be on the front nine of Seminole Legacy.
Illinois finished in ninth place in the 12-team regional with a final score of 46-over-par - 19 shots behind Mississippi State taking the final regional transfer spot to the 2022 NCAA Championship on May 20-25 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Kornkamol Sukaree, a senior originally from Bangkok, Thailand through the Anaheim Discovery Christian Academy, finished her college career with a three-day total of 17-over-par 233 for a tie of 49th place.
Over the final two days, Florida State turned this regional into a home blowout as the Seminoles saw a four-shot deficit after the first round become an 18-shot victory. The Seminoles were led on Wednesday by the birdie machine of individual medalist Beatrice Wallin as the 2021 All-America first team selection birdied six of her first eight holes of the day to build a big enough cushion to cruise to a one-shot victory over Florida Atlantic’s Letizia Bagnoli, who was playing as an individual qualifier, in the regional individual contest. Wallin’s three-day total of 6-under-par 210 included 16 birdies and two eagles. Florida State’s best round on Wednesday was the best round of the competition fired by sophomore Alice Hodge. The Larchmont, N.Y. native posted a six-under 30 in her final nine holes of the competition to complete a final-round 65 to move up 12 spots on the individual leaderboard into a tie for third.
First round leader UCLA, South Carolina, which finished Wednesday’s action with a 6-under-par 282, and Mississippi State found themselves easily among the top four team qualifiers.
This was the fifth-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and ninth overall in Illinois women’s golf history. The Illini posted a 13th place finish at the 2021 NCAA Columbus Regional a season ago. The only time Illini have advanced to the NCAA Championships was the ninth place finish in 2019 led by Wang, Sukaree, Tristyn Nowlin and Bing Singhsumalee.
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