May 23, 2014
TULSA, Okla. - Michigan State senior women's golfer Liz Nagel has been named the 2014 winner of the Women's Golf Coaches Association Kim Moore Spirit Award. Nagel was presented the award during the Women's Collegiate Golf Awards Banquet Friday night in Tulsa.
The award is dedicated to Kim Moore, who played golf for the University of Indianapolis (1999-2003). Moore was an inspiration to all as she persevered through many physical challenges while playing collegiate golf. Her positive outlook and dedication toward the game was only out done by her sense of humor and passion for the game.
The purpose of the award is to recognize and honor a student-athlete or coach who exemplifies a great spirit toward the game of golf, a positive attitude on and off the golf course, a role model for her team and mental toughness in facing challenges. To be nominated, the student-athlete must be of high moral character and in good standing at the college making the nomination, and actively participate within the guidelines of the golf program at her respective university.
Nagel was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in November 2012 and had surgery in late December 2012. Last spring, although she was undergoing treatments, she only missed one tournament and remained in the starting lineup. Nagel used the phrase "Spartan Strong" to inspire herself and her teammates during her fight against cancer, which is now in remission.
"It's great for Liz to be recognized for her golf career, but she also went through some things that most normal kids don't, and she did it with pride, toughness and spirit," said MSU head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. "I think that just says a lot about who she is. I think it's a good example for many people who have heard her story that there are times in life where it's tough, but you have to keep going. I think having something like golf in her life made such a difference in her recovery from cancer. She just had to keep moving forward.
"Her `Spartan Strong' motto will stay with her and for us forever. It's a great award for her."
A native of DeWitt, Michigan, Nagel was named first-team All-Big Ten this season and posted a career-low 74.43 scoring average, which ranks eighth lowest in a MSU single season. In addition, she closed her career with a 75.65 scoring average, good for fourth lowest in program history. She posted five top-10 finishes this season, including her first career tournament victory at the Mary Fossum Invitational at Forest Akers West on the MSU campus in mid-September, in which she was named the Big Ten Women's Golfer of the Week and Golfweek National Golfer of the Week.
A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Nagel graduated earlier this month with a degree in hospitality business and a 3.30 grade-point average.