Junior Kris Grimes finished third overall with a team-best 75 in the final round.
Oct. 1, 2013
By Tyler Wooten
KANSAS CITY -- Saluki women's golf held onto its lead at the UMKC Fall Invitational in the final round on Tuesday, as the Salukis concluded their spectacular turnaround performance by outpacing second-place Bradley by 10 strokes.
After an historic second-round performance, Southern led by 17 strokes going into the final round on Tuesday. Even though the Salukis shot their worst round as a team of the tournament (310) on Tuesday, their superb team scores from Day One were enough to stave off a late charge by Bradley, which shot the best round of the day at 303.
This is the sixth career tournament win for head coach Alexis Mihelich, who is in her third season at SIU. In addition to Day One's historic accolades, Southern's 54-hole tournament total of 909 is tied for the fifth-best score all-time at SIU.
Senior Cassie Rushing was the leading finisher for the Salukis. Rushing (222) shot a 78 in round three but was passed by Bradley's Danielle Lemek (220) for the individual title, which pushed Rushing to second place overall. Rushing's 54-hole score of 222 ties herself for seventh all-time at SIU.
"Cassie struggled off the tee early in the round, but she stuck it out, bounced back, and birded four holes to finish strong," said head coach Alexis Mihelich.
Junior Kris Grimes (223) had the best day for SIU on Tuesday, shooting a round-best 75 to clinch third place overall right behind Rushing. Grimes' three-round total of 223 is tied for eighth all-time at SIU.
"I'm really impressed with Kris," Mihelich said. "She was a solid contributor all three rounds when we needed her. She stepped it up and it paid off in the end."
Freshman Xianmei Jin (231) finished tied for 11th after shooting an 81 in the final round. This is a career-high overall finish and three-round score for Jin in just her third collegiate tournament and only her second as a scored member of the squad.
Southern's final two competitors -- senior Ashleigh Rushing and freshman Brooke Cusumano -- posted final rounds in the 70s to help keep SIU's team score low for the victory. Rushing (237) shot a final-round 78, which was good for 20th place, and Cusumano's (239) final-round 79 put her in a tie for 23rd overall.
Sophomore Mattie Lindner, who competed as an individual, took home the second-best individual score of the tournament at 236 after shooting a final-round 78. Lindner finished tied for 18th overall.
Next up for the Salukis is the Payne Stewart Memorial tournament in Springfield, Mo., on Oct. 14-15.
2. Cassie Rushing: 76-68-78 (222)
3. Kris Grimes: 73-75-75 (223)
t-11. Xianmei Jin: 78-72-81 (231)
t-18. Mattie Lindner: 77-81-78 (236)
20. Ashleigh Rushing: 83-76-78 (237)
t-23. Brooke Cusumano: 81-79-79 (239)
Italics designate individual competitor
1. Southern Illinois: 308-291-310 (909)
2. Bradley: 299-317-303 (919)
3. UMKC: 307-315-305 (927)
4. Northern Illinois: 308-311-313 (932)
5. SDSU: 323-314-309 (946)
6. Drake: 317-315-316 (947)
7. Omaha: 330-315-316 (961)
8. Bakersfield: 343-331-327 (1001)
9. William Jewell: 349-345-342 (1036)