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Women's Golf Hosts 34th Annual Fossum Invitational This Weekend

Sept. 21, 2017

EAST LANSING - The Michigan State women's golf program will host the 34th annual Mary Fossum Invitational this weekend at Forest Akers West. The tournament will begin on Saturday with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start with 36 holes of continuous play. The final round will begin Sunday at 8:30 a.m.

"Being able to honor my coach, the person that coached here for 25 years and started the program, means to a lot to us," said MSU head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. "It means a lot to the players as well, to be able to stay home and play at your own golf course, especially when we're hosting a NCAA regional here in 2019. It's great to honor Mary and play on our home course."

MARY FOSSUM INVITATIONAL HISTORY
Named after Michigan State's longtime head coach from 1973-97, the Mary Fossum Invitational began in 1978 and is held annually at Michigan State's Forest Akers West Golf Course in September. Michigan State has won the event 11 times, including seven times since 2005 and most recently in 2013. The last Spartan to win medalist honors was Liz Nagel in 2013.

Sarah Burnham was the individual runner-up last season, finishing one shot out of first place with a 3-under-par 213, which was the lowest score ever recorded by a Spartan at the Fossum Invitational.

Complete year-by-year tournament history can be found here .

THE COURSE
The tournament will take place at the par-72, 6,334-yard Forest Akers West.

LIVE STATS
Live scoring will be available at Golfstat.com

 

 

THE FIELD
Michigan State, Central Michigan, Cleveland State, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Charlotte, Western Michigan, Xavier, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green

THE LINEUP
The Spartan lineup this weekend will include Paz Marfa Sans, Sarah Burnham, Katie Sharp, Allyson Geer and Carolyn Markley.

Caroline Harding, Catherine McEvoy, Greer Clausen, Logan Otter, Priscilla Harding, Sybil Robinson and Yurika Tanida will all play as individuals.

"We're really excited about our depth," said Slobodnik-Stoll. "We have six to eight players all capable of playing in the top five. We know that they'll push themselves and each other every week to be the best."

THE LAST TIME OUT: THE MINNESOTA INVITATIONAL
The Spartans took second place at the season-opening Minnesota Invitational (Sept. 11-12), finishing with a 54-hole tournament program record 17-under-par 847 (279-278-290). Paz Marfa Sans took fifth with a 7-under-par 209 (64-71-74), while Sarah Burnham took seventh with a 6-under-par 210 (74-66-70).

Marfa Sans' 209 was the fourth-lowest 54-hole tournament score in program history and her 8-under-par 64 tied for the second lowest round in MSU history.

ABOUT MARY FOSSUM
Mary Fossum was the first and only head coach in the history of Spartan women's golf prior to 1997, coaching from 1973 until her retirement. For 17 of those years, Fossum was part of a unique coaching pair as her husband, Bruce, coached the MSU men's team for 25 seasons before his retirement in 1989. Bruce passed away in March 2014 at the age of 86.

Under Fossum's guidance, the Spartans won an unprecedented five straight Big Ten titles from 1974-78 and played in six consecutive AIAW National Championships (1973-78). The Spartans regained the conference crown in 1982 and played in the 1982 and 1984 NCAA Championships. MSU claimed its third conference runner-up spot under Fossum at the 1987 Big Ten Championship.

Those accomplishments led to recognition of Fossum as one of the country's best collegiate golf coaches. She was honored as the first-ever NCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1984 and was inducted into the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988. In 1999, Michigan State's annual fall women's golf tournament was renamed the Mary Fossum Invitational. In January of 1998, Fossum was honored by the College Golf Foundation with the Rolex/Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award for outstanding service and contributions to collegiate women's golf. She was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2003. In 2007, the Big Ten named its award for the women's golfer with the lowest stroke-average to par in a season the Mary Fossum Award.

A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Fossum won the Wisconsin women's golf championship in 1945, 1946 and 1947. One of the many highlights of her career was her match-play victory over Mildred (Babe) Didrikson-Zaharias in the 1946 Women's Western Amateur semifinals. Fossum was inducted in 1990 into the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame, making her only the fifth woman to achieve that distinction. Fossum also was involved at the national level, serving as a member of the NCAA golf committee which guides the national development and administration of women's collegiate golf.

She earned the Michigan Women's Golf Association Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2014.

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