After a fervent final round of play, the Eastern Michigan University women’s golf team finished with a score of 933, including three Eagles placing inside the top 20, at the inaugural Shirley Spork Invitational this past Monday and Tuesday Oct. 9-10 at the Eagle Crest Golf Club.
Freshman and Bangkok, Thailand native Preaw Sripatrprasite posted her first career top 10 showing on the par 72, 6,127-yard course with a score of 226, tying her for fifth place. Junior Penelope Guilleux added her second career top-10 finish, shooting a 75 in the final round to tie her for seventh with 227. Senior Thelma Beck rounded out the trio with her score of 234 good for 18th.
The Thundering Herd of Marshall University claimed the title by 16 strokes over second place finishing Bowling Green University with a score of 896.
“Overall, it was kind of a success for me because it’s my third tournament for this year,” Sripatrprasite said. “Having my team support me and my coach support me was really great. I’m excited to be playing at our home course today. The course was in great condition and great shape.”
The tournament was named after Shirley Spork, who was the first female member inducted into the E-Club Hall of Fame. While attending Michigan State Normal College, now known as Eastern Michigan University. Spork won the Women's District Match Play Championship three out of four years and in 1947, she was the winner of the first-ever National Collegiate Championship held for women's athletics, as well as the winner of the 1949 Michigan Amateur. In 1959 she founded the the LPGA's Teaching and Club Professional Division, and she was a recipient of the 2015 Patty Berg Award.
“I’m excited for what the future holds. I think it’s just the beginning really,” third year Head Coach Pina Gentile said. “It was really exciting to have two young ladies, Penelope obviously, to have her put together some really solid golf was great. And then Preaw as a freshman, to be able to get a top five finish that was great. Good play by them and I’m really excited about the rest of the season and what the future holds for us.”
“I was feeling good. The week was perfect, the weather was perfect,” Guilleux cooed in her regal French accent. “I can do laundry and sleep after,” she said in regards to the team’s upcoming road trip.
EMU closes out the fall season at the Florida International University (FIU) Pat Bradley Invitational, Oct. 23-24, in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.