Golf: Texan Emily Collins wins Illinois open; Ashley Armstrong among four tied for second
By Kevin McGavin For Sun-Times Media July 30, 2014 6:30PM
Ashley Armstong competes Wednesday in the final round of the Illinois Women's Open in Romeoville. | Supplied photo
Updated: September 1, 2014 8:00AM
Emily Collins offered the rest of the field at the Illinois Women’s Open an opportunity to slice into her considerable 36-hole lead Wednesday.
But Collins’ double bogey-bogey start at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville proved illusionary by the time the Texan made the turn.
Collins more than righted her game with three birdies over her final seven holes on the front nine and cruised to a nine-shot victory — the largest in the 20-year history of the event — with a 4-under-par 212 total.
Collins played her final nine holes in 1-under to wrap up her first pro championship with a closing 71.
Flossmoor resident and Notre Dame senior Ashley Armstrong and the University of Illinois’ Ember Schuldt of Sterling had final-round even-par 72s to share runner-up status with two other players at 221.
“I wanted to get back to where I started,” Collins said of being 3-over start through two holes. “I wanted to play some state opens. Illinois sounded like the best option.”
Armstrong had not even kept score during a round of golf since her junior season at Notre Dame ended in the spring.
“I am very surprised,” Armstrong said of her 5-over total for the 54 holes of competition. “I am glad I played. I guess my (Notre Dame) coach is, too.”
Armstrong had a birdie at No. 12, and the only blemish on her round came two holes later.
“It was very boring,” Armstrong said of her round. “I’m not hitting the ball great, but my misses aren’t horrible.”
Fellow Homewood-Flossmoor product Megan Godfrey was the last player to make the Tuesday cut.
“I just wanted to see if I could go as low as I could,” said Godfrey, who had a 79 Wednesday (236 total).
Waubonsie Valley senior Bing Singhsumalee, an Illinois recruit, had the low round of the day. The Naperville resident played each nine in 1-under to finish with a 70. Singhsumalee played her final 36 holes in 1-under to move up to a tie for 10th place at 225.
“I am really glad that I definitely improved,” said Singhsumalee, who opened with an 81 on Monday. “This course has always been tricky, so I’m glad I got to play well on it.”
Singhsumalee trumped four bogeys with six birdies on her round.
“They were all one-putt (birdies),” the reigning Class AA state runner-up said. “I was hitting fairways, hitting up and one putt.”
Jessica Yuen, of Neuqua Valley had a 77 to tie for 27th.
“It was a struggle out there,” Yuen said of her 77.
Kaneland alum Hayley Guyton was in the hunt for a top-10 finish after a 2-under stretch on Nos. 6 through 8 left her 7-over for the tournament.
But the Illinois State senior lost five strokes on her final three holes to settle for a 78 (229 overall) and tie for 18th.
“I wasn’t committing to my shots (down the stretch),” Guyton said.
Auroran Kim Anderson, a once-a-year competitive golfer, was a shot behind Guyton after a final-round 78.
“I just wanted to go out and have fun,” Anderson said. “Overall, I’m very pleased.”
Elgin resident and Illinois sophomore Stephanie Miller had issues with the punishing greens at Mistwood, ultimately settling for an 80 in crafting an aggregate 232 total, tied for 27th overall.
“I hit a couple of stray irons that put me in bad places,” Miller said. “I couldn’t figure out of the speed of the greens.”