Flames Prep for First-Ever Horizon League Championship Appearance
April 26, 2012
CHICAGO - The UIC women's golf team will compete in their first-ever Horizon League Championship this weekend, as the annual event gets underway at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills on Friday. The Flames will play 18-holes each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Flames, in their first full year of existence as a Division I program, are coming off a third-place finish at the Loyola Invitational in Algonquin last weekend. In that tournament, UIC competed against Horizon League foes Loyola, Valparaiso and Green Bay - the Flames defeated the Phoenix by 13 strokes in the two-day event.
UIC also competed against Detroit at the Titans Invitational (April 9-10), and took on Butler at the Benbow Invitational (March 12-13 in Jacksonville, Fla.).
The Flames feature a six-member roster that features all freshmen. Alex Perez has been UIC's main catalyst, carding two rounds in the 70's, and back-to-back top-five finishes at the Titans Invitational and Loyola Invitational. Her eight-over-par 80 in the final round of the Titans Invitational was the lowest individual round of the day.
Elizabeth Curtiss, who battled wrist injuries all fall and early on into the spring, finished in an eighth-place tie last weekend at the Loyola Invite. Kayla Stueland also tallied a top-15 finish at the Titans Invitational, and has broken 90 in five-of the last six rounds.
Meanwhile, Casey Hahn has emerged as a regular contributor in the lineup, while Cherise Mangal has steadily improved in the tournaments' later rounds. Lindsay Purpura has competed as an individual in most events, but has shown the ability to shoot in the 80's.
The Championship will be played on the El Campeón course, one-of-two golf courses on the resort. El Campeón, built in 1917, is one of the south's oldest golf courses. Chicago-based course architect, George O'Neil, and with further enhancements in 1926 by Charles E. Clarke of Troon, Scotland, blended unusual elevation changes of more than 85 feet with features of traditional golf design.
Rolling fairways and undulating greens characterize El Campeón. The course's signature hole is the par-5, 17th, a long, double dogleg that has more obstacles than some entire courses. The trek includes four par-5 holes, 10 par-4's and four par-3's.
Butler is the Horizon League's defending champion, having captured the title at Mission Inn Resort last season.