Spartans Tied for Fifth Place After First Round at NCAA West Regional
May 8, 2014
CLE ELUM, Wash. - The No. 23 Michigan State women's golf team shot a 3-over-par 291 in the first round of the NCAA West Regional on Thursday and is tied for fifth place in the 24-team regional, which is being held at the Tumble Creek Golf Club at Suncadia Resort. The top-eight teams after 54 holes will advance to the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 20-23.
"I think we had a very nice round and got off to a good start," said MSU head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, as the Spartans are playing in their 16th consecutive NCAA Regional. "I'm very pleased with the numbers the girls posted today. I think we let a few go at the end, but I don't think that's going to hurt us in any way. It's comfortable out here and absolutely beautiful - it feels a lot like northern Michigan, with bigger mountains."
MSU's team score of 291 tied the second-lowest single-round by the Spartans in an NCAA Regional (record: 283).
No. 1 USC leads the field with a 4-under 284. The Spartans are 10 shots in front of ninth-place Wisconsin.
"The good thing is that any one of our girls can shoot under-par at any time," Slobodnik-Stoll said. "I think that's what's so great about our team. It's not just one or two players, it's the whole team."
Senior Liz Nagel led the Spartans with a 2-under 70 (33-37), including a team-best four birdies, and is tied for fifth place. She was 3-under on the front nine and 4-under through 14 holes before collecting two bogeys and two pars over her final four holes. This marks the third time in her career she has shot under-par in the postseason (2013 NCAA Central Regional, third round, 68; 2012 NCAA East Regional, third round, 69).
"In the holes that I watched her play, her irons were much better," said Slobodnik-Stoll, as Nagel finished with her best single-round since the Central District Invitational in mid-February. "She was also putting very well today."
Senior Allyssa Ferrell tied her second-lowest round at an NCAA Regional by carding a 1-over 73 (37-36). Ferrell was 1-over on the front nine and shot par the entire back nine; she is tied for 19th place on the leaderboard.
Playing in her first postseason tournament, red-shirt freshman Gabby Yurik carded a 2-over 74 (36-38). Yurik started strong, recording par on her first 11 holes followed by birdies on No. 12 and 14 to sit at 1-under with four holes left. Although she was 3-over during her final stretch, she still managed to tie for the third-lowest round of the day for the Spartans and is tied for 24th.
Senior Christine Meier, playing in her fourth NCAA Regional, also posted a 74 (37-37), including a birdie on the par 5 18th hole.
Freshman Kelly Grassel is tied for 45th place at 4-over-par 76 (39-37).
The second round of the NCAA West Regional is set for Friday; live scoring is available at www.golfstat.com.
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