NCAA Championships Begin Friday for Spartans
 
 
 
 
May 17, 2017

2017 NCAA Championships
 Dates Wednesday-Monday, May 19-24
 Location Sugar Grove, Ill.
 Golf Course Rich Harvest Farms | Par: 72 | Yardage: 6,343
 Live Scoring Golfstat.com
 TV Golf Channel will provide live coverage May 22-24
 Notes Complete Release (PDF)
 Teams 1. Stanford, 2. Alabama, 3. Florida, 4. Florida State, 5. USC, 6. Arizona State, 7. Duke, 8. Furman, 9. South Carolina, 10. Northwestern, 11. Miami, 12. Kent State, 13. Texas, 14. Baylor, 15. California, 16. Purdue, 17. Ohio State, 18. Michigan, 19. Texas Tech, 20. Pepperdine, 21. North Carolina, 22. Clemson, 23. Oregon, 24. Michigan State
 NCAA.com DI Golf Home
 Postseason NCAA History Spartan Postseason History

For the 11th time under head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll and the 13th time in program history, the Michigan State women's golf team will be competing in the NCAA National Championships. The Spartans qualified for the national championships after a program-best third-place finish at the NCAA Athens Regional, May 8-10.

The Spartans will play with Clemson and Oregon in Friday's first round and begin teeing off on hole No. 1 at 8:36 a.m.

The NCAA Championships Format
All 24 teams and 12 individuals will complete 54 holes of stroke play (Fri.-Sun.). Following the 54-holes, the top 15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team will move on for one additional day of stroke play (Mon.) to determine the top eight teams for match play competition (Tues.-Wed.) and the stroke-play individual champion. The top eight teams for match play will be placed into a bracket with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 8 seed, the No. 2 seed playing the No. 7 seed, the No. 3 seed playing the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed playing the No. 5 seed.

MSU's NCAA Championships History
Michigan State is making its 13th NCAA Championships appearance in school history and 11th in the last 17 years. The Spartans' best team finish came in 2013 in Athens, Georgia, when they tied for ninth. Current assistant coach Caroline Powers and Christine Meier own the best individual finish with sixth-place showings in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

For the 11th time under head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll and the 13th time in program history, the Michigan State women's golf team will be competing in the NCAA National Championships. The Spartans qualified for the national championships after a program-best third-place finish at the NCAA Athens Regional, May 8-10.

The NCAA Championships Format
All 24 teams and 12 individuals will complete 54 holes of stroke play (Fri.-Sun.). Following the 54-holes, the top 15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team will move on for one additional day of stroke play (Mon.) to determine the top eight teams for match play competition (Tues.-Wed.) and the stroke-play individual champion. The top eight teams for match play will be placed into a bracket with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 8 seed, the No. 2 seed playing the No. 7 seed, the No. 3 seed playing the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed playing the No. 5 seed.

MSU's NCAA Championships History
Michigan State is making its 13th NCAA Championships appearance in school history and 11th in the last 17 years. The Spartans' best team finish came in 2013 in Athens, Georgia, when they tied for ninth. Current assistant coach Caroline Powers and Christine Meier own the best individual finish with sixth-place showings in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

MSU's Complete NCAA Championships History

Notes on the Athens Regional
The Spartans placed third in Athens with an 8-over-par 872 (284-297-291) ... The 872 marked the program's lowest score at an NCAA regional and the third-place finish tied for the Spartans' best at an NCAA regional (2001, 2004) ... MSU led the field after an opening-round 284 -- the lowest score ever recorded by the Spartans in an NCAA regional ... Freshman Paz Marfa Sans led all Spartans by finishing with an even-par 216 (71-74-71) to take 10th place ... The finish was the best of Marfa Sans' career and it was the first time since the opening tournament of the season that she was the Spartans' top-placing golfer ... Sarah Burnham had the lowest round of the tournament by a Spartan with a first round 3-under-par 69.

The B1G's Best
Michigan State captured its fourth Big Ten Championship in the last seven years, winning the 2017 title at TPC River's Bend in Maineville, Ohio, April 21-23. The Spartans rallied from an eight-stroke deficit entering the final round to top 12th-ranked Northwestern by two strokes with a 2-over-par 866.

The Spartans' Big Ten title is the sixth under head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll (2001, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017).

The Spartans placed three golfers in the top five, led by Sarah Burnham, who was the runner-up. She fired a school and Big Ten Championships record 9-under-par 63 in the second round and ended the tournament 5-under-par 211 (73-63-75).

Freshman Allyson Geer placed fourth with an even-par 216 (73-73-70) and junior Katie Sharp tied for fifth at 2-over-par 218 (75-72-71).

Five B1G Teams to Compete for the NCAA Championship
The Big Ten tied a conference record with five women's golf teams securing berths in the 2017 NCAA Championships after advancing from the regional round. Michigan State and Northwestern earned berths after recording top-three finishes at the Athens Regional, while Michigan, Ohio State and Purdue advanced from the Columbus Regional.

Spartans Make Nation's Largest Rankings Jump
Michigan State made the largest climb of any team in the nation in the Golfweek/Saragin rankings from the fall to the spring. MSU went from a No. 97 ranking in the fall to a No. 25 ranking this spring -- a jump of 72 spots, which tied South Florida (160 -- 88) for the largest rankings climb.

Burnham Having a Record Year...Again
A year after setting MSU's single-season scoring average record (72.42) and earning WGCA honorable mention All-America team accolades, junior Sarah Burnham is back amongst the nation's best. The Big Ten Player of the Year is ranked 34th in the Golfweek collegiate individual rankings and boasts a 72.22 scoring average. She has finished as the runner-up in two of the last three tournaments (Lady Buckeye Invitational and Big Ten Championships) and three times total this season.

Entering the NCAA Championships, the native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, has carded a 73 or lower in 10 of her last 12 rounds. Burnham shot an MSU and Big Ten Championships record 9-under-par 63 in the second round of the conference tournament, tying for the second-lowest round in NCAA women's golf this season. The round included 11 birdies, with six in a row at one point on the front nine, and one double bogey.

Burnham leads the Spartans in total birdies (104), birdies per round (3.25) and under-par rounds (11).

Burnham Making Her Second NCAA Championships Appearance
Sarah Burnham is making her second consecutive appearance at the national championships. Burnham qualified as an individual last year where she tied for 45th after shooting a 4-over-par 220 (75-71-74) through three rounds, but did not advance to the fourth and final round of stroke play, missing the cut by just two shots.

Geer Gives Spartans a Major Lift
Since enrolling and joining the Spartans in January, freshman Allyson Geer has provided Michigan State with an immediate boost. Geer was voted the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the first Spartan to garner the honor since Dayna Burleigh in 2003.

Geer, who was ranked the No. 1 Michigan junior golfer since 2013, was in the lineup for all seven tournaments in 2017 and earned her first top-15 finish at the Clemson Invitational with a 1-over-par 217. The Brighton, Michigan, native followed that with a top-five showing at the Lady Buckeye Invitational. Geer had her best tournament of the year at the Big Ten Championships with an even-par 216, including 2-under 70 in the final round, to take fourth place.

Geer's 73.67 scoring average is second only to Burnham on the team. She posted the best Golfweek/Sagarin Big Ten player rating among conference freshmen (72.77).

Geer recorded the first hole-in-one by a Spartan since 2008 when she achieved the feat in the second round of the Briar's Creek Invitational in Johns Island, South Carolina, on March 20.

Head Coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll
Big Ten Coach of the Year Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll is in her 20th year guiding MSU program. She has led MSU to six Big Ten titles (2001, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017), 11 trips to the NCAA Championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017), and 18 appearances in the NCAA Regionals (1999-2014, 2016-17).

MSU has won 35 tournaments during Slobodnik-Stoll's tenure, and over the last 18 years, her players have earned All-Big Ten honors 43 times, including 27 first-team selections. Here most recent Big Ten Coach of the Year honor was the fourth of her career (2001, 2007, 2012, 2017).

Slobodnik-Stoll, who will be inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in June, has mentored four Big Ten Golfers of the Year: Emily Bastel (2002), Laura Kueny (2010), Caroline Powers (2013) and Sarah Burnham (2017). Bastel was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame Class in 2012, while Kueny and Powers are currently playing on the Symetra Tour.

Additionally, Slobodnik-Stoll has coached four Spartans that have claimed Big Ten Freshmen of the Year honors: Kasey Gant (1998), Bastel (1999), Dayna Burleigh (2003) and Ally Geer (2017).

Model of Consistency
The Michigan State women's golf program has appeared in 18 of the past 19 NCAA Regionals (1999-2014; 2016-17) and has earned a berth in the NCAA Championships 11 times since 2000 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017).

In addition, since the inception of the conference championships in 1974, only Ohio State (17) has won more league titles than the Spartans (12). MSU won five consecutive Big Ten titles from 1974-78, and has won conference crowns in 1982, 2001, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017.

Academic Excellence Continues
The Spartans' excellence on the course under Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll has been matched only by their consistency in quality in the classroom. The Spartans have won the MSU Athletic Director's Award for highest team cumulative GPA for six consecutive seasons, doing so again this year after posting a department-best 3.561 cumulative GPA following the 2016 fall semester.