April 21, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Michigan State women's golf team won the Lady Buckeye Invitational Sunday afternoon for its first tournament win of the season. The Spartans took first place with a team score of 904 (308-298-298), seven shots ahead of second-place and 10th-ranked Purdue (310-295-306--911). Nine of the 12 teams in the field were from the Big Ten.
It marks the second time in the last three years the Spartans have won the Lady Buckeye Invitational, which is held annually on the Scarlet Course at Ohio State. It also marks the 31st tournament win of head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll's career, and her third victory in Columbus.
Perhaps most importantly, it gives the Spartans momentum heading into next week's Big Ten Championships as MSU looks to win its third straight conference crown.
"The whole team played good today - that's what was so fun and impressive," said Slobodnik-Stoll. "All six of them were in the game the whole time. It was a very good team effort.
"We have to keep this in perspective in that the Lady Buckeye is different than the Big Ten Championships. They're two different courses, and everyone is going to come to play next week. But it's a good indication of where we're at and what we need to work on this week before we head to French Lick. It's a good confidence booster, but we also have things we need to work on to improve.
"We obviously feel very comfortable at the Ross Course (site of last year's Big Ten Championships), so we need to go over all those things on how we were successful and what we did to make that happen, and then put a plan in place to make that happen again next weekend."
The Spartans were led by junior Liz Nagel, who tied for a career-best third-place finish. Nagel shot a 77 in Sunday's third round and closed at 9-over 225 (75-73-77), just four shots back of medalist Laura Gonzalez of Purdue.
Junior Allyssa Ferrell also posted the highest finish of her collegiate career, tying for seventh place with a 12-over 228 (78-79-71). Ferrell's 1-under 71 was the best round by any player in the field on Sunday and equaled the lowest round of the tournament. The Edgerton, Wis., native compiled four birdies, 11 pars and three bogeys in her final round.
Senior Caroline Powers tied for 13th place, marking the seventh time in eight tournaments this season she has placed in the top 20. Powers finished at 232 (81-73-78).
Junior Christine Meier (83-75-75) and sophomore Jenny Sritragul (74-82-77) each tied for 18th place with a 233. For Sritragul, the 18th-place showing is the best of her collegiate career, eclipsing her previous-best finish of 20th place at the Central District Invitational in February.
Sophomore Trisha Witherby's round of 75 on Sunday counted toward the team score. She finished in a tie for 26th place at 236 (84-77-75).
Competing as an individual, sophomore Lindsey McPherson tied for 60th with a 251 (81-82-88).
The 2013 Big Ten Championships are set for April 26-28 in French Lick, Ind. Michigan State is looking to win three consecutive Big Ten Championships for the first time since winning five in a row from 1974-78. The Spartans have won 10 Big Ten titles in program history, including four under Slobodnik-Stoll.