MURRAY, Ky. - Behind Brooke Cusumano’s first individual tournament win, the Southern Illinois women’s golf team earned a second-place finish at the MSU Invitational on Tuesday in Murray, Kentucky. Southern shot 614 during the two-round tournament at Miller Memorial Golf Course.
It was a career-best tournament from Cusumano that helped guide SIU to second out of a dozen teams. The St. Louis native shot a 74 on the first day of play to hold a tie for second place. In the second round, Cusumano once again shot a 74, to finish one stroke above the nearest competitor. Her line of 74-74 (148) was a two-round best for Cusumano as a Saluki. With Cusumano’s win, head coach Alexis Mihelich has now coached 11 medalists at SIU.
“Brooke was determined to win this golf tournament,” Mihelich said. “She could have been bummed out by her penalty yesterday, but she only used it as an incentive and motivation to win today. She was so confident that today was her day to win her first collegiate tourney that she made it happen.”
It was all-around team effort that propelled SIU to a runner-up team finish. Hanna Netisingha carded a 79 on Tuesday, earning a tie for 12th place. Xianmei Jin and Sun Young Jung finished the final round with a share of 15th place, while Mattie Lindner tied for 23rd place. Competing as an individual, Kristie Yang was the second-highest finisher for SIU, shooting a Saluki-low 73 in the second round to help her to an eighth-place finish, while Alice Ho finished tied for 40th.
“Overall, the team improved during this tournament,” Mihelich said. “Sun (Young Jung) in the final round, shot her career best as a Saluki. Even though she had only played five rounds, she is getting lower and lower each time around. We really needed her score today and she came in with a clutch 77 with two birdies.”
“I'm very pleased with my individual Kristie Yang and her performance,” Mihelich added. “She fired a team low-73 today to be our second best scorer at this event. She really proved to herself that she can be very competitive.”
Southern will have a couple of days to practice before the team travels to Lemont, Illinois for the UIC Fall Invitational on Saturday.
SIU Team Score
1. Brooke Cusumano 74-74 (148)
T12. Hanna Netisingha 77-79 (156)
T15. Xianmei Jin 79-78 (157)
T15. Sun Young Jung 80-77 (157)
T23. Mattie Lindner 76-84 (160)
SIU Individual Score
8. Kristie Yang 81-73 (154)
T40. Alice Ho 80-83 (163)
1. Murray State 303-300 (603
2. Southern Illinois 306-308 (614)
3. Tennessee Tech 316-307 (623)
4. Belmont University 314-316 (630)
5. Austin Peay State 318-324 (642)
6. Lipscomb University 328-319 (647)
7. Cumberlands, U. of 322-326 (648)
8. SIU Edwardsville 313-337 (650)
9. IPFW 335-330 (665)
T10. Indiana State 339-331 (670)
T10. Eastern Illinois 333-337 (670)
12. Tennessee State 365-327 (692)
-- Saluki Media Services