Oct. 30, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 21 Michigan State women's golf team travels to Florida this weekend to participate in the 2008 Hooters Women's Collegiate Match Play Championship, held Sunday-Tuesday (Nov. 2-4) at Kissimmee's Ginn Reunion Resort. The tournament features 16 teams, all of which are ranked in the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, including seven in the top 10.
This year's championship brings a change in format. On day one (Nov. 2), all 16 teams will compete in a 36-hole stroke-play competition. The results from Sunday will be used to seed teams 1-16 for the match play competition with the top eight competing in the championship bracket. Match play competition begins on Nov. 3 with two 18-hole matches followed by the championship final on Nov. 4. The event is the only match play championship on the collegiate schedule.
"Obviously our goal is to finish in the top eight on Sunday so we can play for a championship on Tuesday," said head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. "It's a wonderful field and the resort is a really great place. We played there last year, so we know the ins and outs of the course; however, the team we're bringing is young. Laura's (Kueny) the oldest as a junior, and we have two sophomores and two freshmen, so they'll be getting their feet wet in this format, but it's a lot of fun."
Michigan State is coming off a second-place finish at the Lady Northern Invitational on Oct. 18. The Spartans shot a 308 in the final round to finish with a team score of 912 (302-302-308), finishing 17 shots behind host Purdue (303-290-302--895).
"We were very happy with the team's performance," said Slobodnik-Stoll. "Every outing we understand there's things we need to work on get better and perform at the highest level in May, but it was great because our student-athletes had a chance to see Purdue's course. It's one of the more difficult courses in the Big Ten and in the country."
Kueny tied for second at the Lady Northern with a 5-over 221, marking her seventh career top-five finish. Kueny leads the team with a 73.67 stroke average and is ranked the No. 38 player in the country. Aimee Neff, who is second on the team with a 75.22 average, is also ranked in the top 100 at No. 94.
Freshman Lindsey Solberg has placed in the top 30 in all three of her tournaments thus far and is third on the team with a 75.56 scoring average. Sophomore Michelle Bowles, who had her first career top-20 finish at the Lady Northern, and freshman Shannon Warner will also be in the lineup for the Spartans this weekend.
The 2008 Hooters Women's Collegiate Match Play Championship is presented by the National Golf Coaches Association in association with Hooters of America, Inc. and is co-hosted by the Central Florida Sports Commission, Ginn Reunion and the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau. The event will be held on the resort's Independence Course, a Tom Watson signature design. Nine of the holes are used during the tour's annual Ginn OPENSM.
Tournament Field (Golfweek/Sagarin rating)
Alabama (No. 6)
Arizona (No. 20)
Auburn (No. 12)
Denver (No. 15)
Duke (No. 9)
Florida (No. 25)
Georgia (No. 4)
Kent State (No. 22)
Michigan State (No. 21)
Tennessee (No. 46)
Texas A&M (No. 27)
Tulsa (No. 29)
UCLA (No. 1)
USC (No. 3)
Vanderbilt (No. 8)
Virginia (No. 7)