SUGAR GROVE, Illinois - The Michigan State women's golf team's season came to a close on Monday in the third round of the NCAA Championships in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The Spartans had their best round of the tournament on Monday, shooting a 16-over-par 304 at Rich Harvest Farms. MSU finished the national championships 74-over par 938 (317-317-304) and in 19th place in the 24-team field.
The top eight teams -- Northwestern, Stanford, Arizona State, Ohio State, USC, Florida, Baylor and Kent State - advanced to the match play quarterfinals, which begin on Tuesday. Monica Vaughn of Arizona State won the individual national championship with a 1-over-par 217.
"No matter what happened today we had an incredible spring and a great experience at the national championships," MSU head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll said. "We have two freshmen and they were able to get a taste of what it's like at the NCAAs. We played as hard as we could and realized that we could compete with any of the teams that got to match play."
Junior Sarah Burnham recorded the lowest score of the tournament by a Spartan with a 1-over-par 73 on Monday. She led all Spartan golfers with a 13-over-par 229 (79-77-73), placing 24th, which was 21 spots better than her finish at last year's NCAA Championships.
Burnham finished 2016-17 with a 72.57 scoring average, second only to her 72.42 recorded last year for the best single-season average in program history.
Freshman Allyson Geer finished the tournament 15-over-par 231 (76-78-77) after a 5-over-par 77 in Monday's final round. Geer tied for 45th place.
Markley had the second-best score of the day by a Spartan with a 4-over-par 76, having parred eight of the final 10 holes. She finished 24-over-par 240 (85-79-76), tying for 91st place.
Sharp improved by five strokes over the second round with a 6-over-par 78 on Monday. She registered a 26-over-par 242 (81-83-78) in her first NCAA Championships appearance.
Marfa Sans shaved seven strokes off her Sunday score with a 7-over-par 79 in the third round and finished the tournament 30-over-par 246 (81-86-79).
Without a senior on the roster, the Spartans will return their entire lineup for next season.
"It's encouraging because we now we have more experience going into next year and everyone knows the expectations," Slobodnik-Stoll said.