May 23, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - Led by junior Christine Meier's 3-under-par 69, the Michigan State women's golf team shot a 10-over 298 in Thursday's third round of the NCAA Championships and is in 12th place with a team score of 23-over 887 (298-291-298) heading into Friday's fourth and final round at the University of Georgia Golf Course. Meier's round of 69 was not only a personal best, but also tied an MSU single-round record at the NCAA Championships.
The Spartans are looking for their best-ever finish at the NCAA Championships in school history; MSU tied for 12th in 2002.
MSU had to finish its second round at 7:25 a.m., as inclement weather suspended play on Wednesday evening. Allyssa Ferrell and Caroline Powers had to play hole No. 18, while Meier had to play two holes.
Michigan State closed its second round at 3-over 291, marking the second-lowest single-round score by the Spartans at the NCAA Championships (289 in 2002).
Upon completion of the second round, MSU had to turn right back around and tee off at 8:39 a.m. for the third round. The Spartans equaled their first-round score with a 10-over 298 and sit at 887 through 54 holes.
"It didn't go exactly the way we wanted to, but we sure finished strong with Allyssa and Christine," said Michigan State head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, as Ferrell and Meier combined for seven birdies on their last seven holes. "If anyone were to look at the scores in general today, they were on the high side. There were a lot of tough pins and a lot of front-edge pins. You really had to make smart decisions today, and then the wind starting blowing, so the conditions were a little different than they had been in the past four days. But we finished up feeling great."
Meier's record-tying round moved her up into a tie for 14th place on the individual leaderboard, as she now owns a three-round total of even-par 216 (72-75-69). Meier was consistent on the front nine, recording eight pars and one birdie to stand at 1-under while making the turn. The Rochester Hills, Mich., product was even better on the back nine, tallying birdies on three of her final six holes to finish at 3-under-par.
"It was obviously a tremendous day for Christine," said Slobodnik-Stoll, as Meier tied Powers' single-round record of 69 from the 2011 NCAA Championships. "She played solid all day long, right from the start. It was fun to watch. She only had one bogey all day and really made a lot of great choices."
Ferrell bounced back in a big way over her final seven holes, going from 6-over-par to just 2-over with four birdies and three pars. She finished with a 74 and is 4-over for the tournament (74-72-74--220), good for 33rd place.
After leading MSU with a 1-under 71 in the second round, Trisha Witherby shot an 86 in the third round and is 17-over at 233 (76-71-86).
No. 1 USC has a comfortable lead on the team leaderboard with a 17-stroke margin over No. 3 Duke; the Trojans are 19-under at 845, while the Blue Devils are 2-under at 862. USC's Annie Park is in first place individually with a 9-under 207 (70-67-70).
Live scoring of the fourth and final round of the NCAA Championships will be available at NCAA.com. Live video will be available at NCAA.com beginning at noon. Michigan State will tee off at 11:50 a.m. from hole No. 10 along with Auburn and San Jose State.