April 19, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - In the final tune-up before the Big Ten Championships, the Michigan State women's golf team travels to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend (Saturday-Sunday) for the 33rd annual Lady Buckeye Invitational. The 12-team tournament is being held at the par 72, 6,268-yard Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club.
The Spartans have had recent success at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, winning the event in 2011 while claiming medalist honors two of the past three years. Last year, the Spartans placed second and Caroline Powers and Liz Nagel led the way by tying for fourth. In 2011, MSU won the tournament by 17 strokes over Kent State and Powers captured medalist honors for the first time in her career. Former All-American Laura Kueny took first in 2010.
"We're looking forward to playing Scarlet, it's always one of our favorite places," said MSU women's golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. "What we're looking forward to getting out of this weekend is just some good practice against two of the best teams in the Big Ten, (No. 10) Purdue and Ohio State, just to get into the mode of `it's our tournament time now.'"
The tournament will be 54 holes over two days, with the teams playing 36 holes on Saturday. All teams will have six players, and the top four will count toward the team score.
Junior Christine Meier will be No. 3 in the lineup this weekend, followed by sophomore Jenny Sritragul, junior Liz Nagel and sophomore Trisha Witherby. Sophomore Lindsey McPherson will compete as an individual.
The Spartans, who are ranked 27th in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, will tee off at 8:30 a.m. in the shotgun start on Saturday, along with Purdue and Ohio State.
The tournament also features Augusta State, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kent State, Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin and Youngstown State. Live scoring is available on golfstat.com.
Following the Lady Buckeye Invitational this weekend, the two-time defending Big Ten Champion Spartans will travel to the Big Ten Championships in French Lick, Ind., on April 26-28.
WOMEN'S GOLF HONORED AT ACADEMIC GALA
Earlier this week, the Spartan women's golf program, along with men's tennis, was honored with the Athletic Director's Award at the annual Student-Athlete Support Services Academic Gala for achieving the highest team cumulative GPA after the fall 2012 semester.
The team boasts an impressive 3.466 cumulative GPA, marking the second straight year the program has earned the award. Each eligible member of the team qualified for this year's Gala.
"Two years (in a row) felt great," said Slobodnik-Stoll. "It's such a reward for everything our student-athletes do, not only on the golf course, but in the classroom. I think it really just shows what they're willing to do to be the best. That award means a lot to all of us. They worked very hard for it."
In addition, Powers was the recipient of the Gwendolyn Norrell Community Service & Leadership Award. The award is presented to the student-athlete who best exemplifies the goals of the PACT (Putting Athletes and Community Together) program, excelling in the field of community service and outreach.
As the President of the 2012-13 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, she also actively participates in numerous events throughout the Greater Lansing area including March is Reading Month, Chuck A Puck, Teddy Bear Toss, and the Student-Athlete Food Drive. On the course, Powers is on pace to become the all-time scoring average leader in school history and already owns the lowest single-season scoring average.
"Caroline is a one in a million kid," Slobodnik-Stoll said. "She's done everything right, and she's done everything with success and with class. It's a wonderful accomplishment for her and our program."