The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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BIG TEN/NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: WOMEN'S GOLF Sophomore Yugene Lee's Strong Showing Highlights Postseason Sparked by a pair of top-10 finishers, including tournament runner-up Yugene Lee, the U-M's women's golf team con- cluded the 2012 Big Ten Championships April 27-29 fourth on the leaderboard — the program's best finish since 2008. The Wolverines' 36-over-par, 900-shot team total was just 15 strokes more than tournament champion Michigan State, and represented the best 54-hole tally at the conference tournament in Michigan's history. Lee finished with a 1-over 217, and was one stroke shy of becoming the first Michigan women's golfer to capture a Big Ten individual crown, finishing one back of Purdue junior Laura Gonzalez-Escallon (a 216 score). In the process, Lee broke the U-M 54-hole league championship record by 14 strokes, bettering the mark of 231 set by Brianna Broderick at the 2005 Big Ten event. "Our top four pretty much contributed throughout the whole tournament, including Yugene Lee," head coach Cheryl Stacy said. "She definitely did a really good job throughout the weekend. "Yugene almost winning the tournament was absolutely huge for us. She got better each day, and that says a lot about her. final day, good for the third-best conference championship round in program history. While youth was served for the Maize and Blue throughout Lee's performance culminated with a 2-under 70 on the " the tournament — three of the Wolverines' top four golfers were underclassmen — senior Meagan Bauer saved her best Big Ten Championships for her last, finishing in 10th place with a 7-over 223. "Meagan was right up there as well, round, she faltered a little bit and didn't play as well as she would have liked, but overall I think she was happy with her performance. " Stacy said. "In the last Even with a 5-over 77 final round, the finish was Bauer's highest in conference tournament play. Lee and Bauer be- came only the fourth pair of teammates in school history to record top-10 finishes in a single Big Ten Championships, and the first since Broderick (ninth) and Amy Schmucker (10th) did so in 2005. Freshman Lauren Grogan finished in 14th place with a " 9-over 225, and caught the eye of her coaches and peers. "Lauren Grogan, for being a freshman, was very, very solid, Stacy said. "She hit the ball amazingly, and if she would have made a few more putts — I think she had a few three-putts — she really could have contended for the lead. "It was far from a surprise performance, but we are all very happy to see her play like that. Classmate Linda Luo turned in a 19-over 235, good for 36th in the conference. "Linda and Lauren both played really well, " was a tremendous experience for them to play like they did in this tournament. "I think it is a big confidence booster. Having that posi- " Stacy said. "It tive first experience is going to stick with them in the future." En route to capturing the eighth top-five Big Ten Cham- pionships finish in program history, U-M entered the fi- nal round of the tournament sitting in third place with high expectations. While they may have fallen short of the " Lee finished one stroke shy of becoming the first Michigan wom- en's golfer to capture a Big Ten individual crown. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS program's first top-three result since 2004, the Wolverines proved that their program is on the rise in the Big Ten. "A couple of the other coaches told us how impressed they were with our short game, specifically chipping and putting, well throughout the tournament. There was a time during the second day where I think we were around 5-under for the day. I can't remember an occasion where we played that well during a round. "We really wanted to finish in the top three, but fourth isn't " Stacy said. "Personally, I thought we played really too bad. It was still really exciting to see how well we played throughout the tournament. The Wolverines' effort landed them one of 24 coveted spots in the NCAA Central Regional held at archrival Ohio State's Scarlet Golf Course May 10-12. Hoping for a top-eight finish that would advance them " to the NCAA Championships, the Wolverines could not overcome a sluggish start — they were 27-over on day one — and finished in 16th place. Lee once again led the Maize and Blue, placing 43rd with a and 16th-place finish at the NCAA Central Regional mark the best postseason results for the program since Stacy took over in 2009. "We were able to take away a lot of positives from this 15-over 231 — the fifth-best 54-hole score in NCAA postseason play in U-M history. Grogan, meanwhile, posted an 18-over 234. The fourth-place showing at the Big Ten Championships tournament and this season," Stacy said after the regional. "We have a bright future with some great student-athletes who are going to continue to improve and start winning tournaments for Michigan." — Kevin Minor JUNE/JULY 2012 THE WOLVERINE 71

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