Women's Golf Advances to 2009 NCAA Championship
May 9, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's golf team advanced to its ninth NCAA Championship on Saturday, placing fifth at the NCAA Central Regional, hosted by Ohio State University at the Scarlet Course. The 2009 NCAA Championship will be held May 19-22 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.
"It feels great to move on to the national championship," said Michigan State head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. "We played three solid rounds this week and were persistent despite the changing conditions. The increased winds and tight pin positions kept the scores high today, but our experience there at Big Tens helped us to be prepared for it all."
The Spartans, ranked No. 23 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, shot a final round 22-over par 310, the third lowest team score on the day, to finish the tournament at 41-over par 905 (295-300-310). The fifth place finish was third best in program history, trailing the 2001 and 2004 Spartan teams who each placed third. MSU last appeared in the NCAA Championships in 2007 and have now appeared in seven of the last 10.
"It is a beginning of a new era in Michigan State golf," added Slobodnik-Stoll. "We have five golfers who have never appeared in the NCAA Championship and now they have the opportunity to set the bar higher."
Freshman Lindsey Solberg highlighted the final round action for the Spartans, firing an even-par 72, the lowest score posted today by anyone in the field. Solberg finished the regional in sixth place, moving up 18 spots on the final day, totaling seven-over 223 (75-76-72). Her sixth place finish was the second-best all-time by a Spartan in a regional and her score of 223 ties for the fifth lowest in MSU history. It was Solberg's third top-10 finish this season.
"Lindsey was spectacular today," said Slobodnik-Stoll. "She played really solid and did everything right. She was really steady this week and it is great to see her evolve as a player as only a freshman."
Junior Laura Kueny finished a shot behind Solberg in a tie for seventh at eight-over 224 (73-74-77). Her placement is fourth best in Spartan history and joins Solberg as one of only five MSU golfers to place in the top-10 at a regional. Kueny has now finished in the top-10 in her last four tournaments and has seven top-10 showing in the team's 10 stroke play tournaments this season.
Sophomore Aimee Neff and freshman Shannon Warner tied for 20th at 13-over 229, while sophomore Michelle Bowles rounded out the MSU lineup at 24-over 240 to tie for 69th. Neff, who had her fifth top-20 finish on the season, led the team with seven birdies over the three rounds, while Warner was second with six.
No. 2 UCLA cruised to the NCAA Central Regional title with a 13-over 877. No. 9 Purdue was second at 32-over 896, followed by No. 6 Wake Forest (35-over 899) and No. 4 Oklahoma State (37-over 901). Finishing behind MSU, and rounding out the NCAA Championship qualifiers from the Central Regional, was No. 22 New Mexico (48-over 912), No. 27 Ohio State (53-over 917) and No. 46 Chattanooga (58-over 922). UCLA's Maria Jose Uribe earned medalist honors at four-under 212.
"It says a lot of about the conference to have three programs (MSU, Purdue, Ohio State) advance to the NCAAs," Slobodnik-Stoll added. "It is great that these three talented teams will be able to represent the conference on the national stage."
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