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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Illinois women's golf team gets to stick around another day at the NCAA championships.

But, the Illini will need a big push today to reach the match-play portion of the national tournament at The Blessings Golf Club.

After Saturday rain in Fayetteville, Ark., forced NCAA officials to change to 54 holes of stroke play, instead of 72, the new format eliminated Sunday's cut, meaning all 24 teams made it to Monday.

Despite improving upon its first round score by 24 strokes on Sunday, Illinois is still outside the top-eight cutline, with the Illini at 32-over par and in 14th place entering today's third and final round.

Only the top 8 teams will advance into Tuesday's match-play quarterfinals. Northwestern, which resided in eighth place after 36 holes, had a nine-shot cushion over Illinois.

"We positioned ourselves better off the tee and on the greens (Sunday) for the most part," Illini coach Renee Slone said. "There were still shots we left out there. ... The team had good energy after the long delay (Saturday) and we are looking forward to a great day (Monday)."

Bing Singhsumalee had the best score for Illinois after two rounds at 7-over 153 and was tied for 42nd after the senior shot a 76 on Sunday. Tristyn Nowlin followed Singhsumalee at 8-over 154.

Sports Copy Editor

Joe Vozzelli Jr. is a sports copy editor at The News-Gazette. His email is