Saturday, March 2, 2013

Calamaro helps Illini go low

  It’s still pretty chilly around these parts on the first Sunday of March, but we are closing in on the final 100 days – it’s 103 days to be precise – until the 2013 U.S. Open tees off at Merion Golf Club’s famed East Course in the Ardmore section of Haverford Township, Delaware County USA.
   Jackie Calamaro didn’t win a PIAA Championship and two Pennsylvania Junior Girls crowns without taking it low every once in a while.
   The Illinois redshirt sophomore who was the 2009-10 Daily Times Player of the Year as a senior at Radnor, flashed a little of that ability in the final round of last week’s Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Ariz.
   After rounds of 76 and 78, Calamaro fired a 1-under 73 in the final round, a total matched by sophomore teammate Pimploy Thirati as the Illini posted a team total of 295, their best score of  the 2012-13 campaign.
   Calamaro and Thirati finished in a tie for 26th at 11-over 227. Samantha Postillon, like Calamaro a redshirt sophomore, was another shot back in a tie for 31st with rounds of 77, 76 and 75. Sophomore Michelle Mayer saved her best for last, a 2-over 74 in the final round that enabled her to finish in a tie for 48th at 233 and Ember Schuldt finished in a tie for 61st at 237.
   Senior Crystal Smith competed as an individual and outdid all her teammates, stringing together rounds of even-par 72, 76 and 77 that enabled her to finish in a tie for 20th overall at 9-over 225.
   The team’s final round 295 moved them up a spot in the final team standings to 11th place. The Illini opened the tournament with rounds of 310 and 309 before their impressive final-round surge.
Kan helps Purdue take fifth
   Calamaro’s old scholastic rival, 2010 PIAA and Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur champion Aurora Kan, was also in action last week with Purdue, which entered the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Tournament in New Orleans as the 10th-ranked team in the country.
   Kan, a sophomore who was the 2010-11 Daily Times Player of the Year at Chichester, helped the Boilermakers finish fifth with a 591 total in an event shortened to 36 holes by torrential rains Monday.
   Kan had rounds of 75 and 78 over the 6,105-yard, par-72 English Turn Golf & Country Club layout that landed her with two of her teammates among the group tied for 51st at 153.
   Senior Laura Gonzalez-Escallon fired a 2-under 70 in the final round that gave her a 1-over 145 total as she finished in a tie for 11th. Senior Kishi Sinha had a pair of 73s and finished in a tie for 13th at 2-over 146.
   Joining Kan at 153 were senior Paula Reto (78-75) and freshman Margaux Vanmol (72-81).
   Purdue had rounds of 295 and 296, to finish 11 shots back of Los Angeles rivals UCLA and top-ranked Southern Cal. The Trojans then took the title by beating the 23rd-ranked Bruins on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
  No. 3 Duke took third at 583 and host Tulane was fourth at 589 in the elite 18-team field.
   Baylor’s Hayley Davis fired a 4-under 68 in the second round to take individual honors at 4-under 140

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