Tuesday, June 22, 2021

MSU women's golf takes home Big Ten Championship

April 26, 2021

The Michigan State women's golf team has taken home the Big Ten Championship once again after winning at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio with an 11-under-par team score.

This is the programs third since 2017 and sixth since 2011, eighth under head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll and 14th in program history.

MSU entered Sunday morning atop the leaderboard with Maryland and finished that evening 11-under-par for a total score of 853, five shots ahead of the three teams tied for third place: Maryland, Nebraska and Michigan.

“We talked about this morning that we’ve kind of owned this golf course and played well here every year, so we didn’t see why we couldn’t win another title,” Slobodnik-Stoll said in a release. “This was truly a team effort — everyone contributed in a big way at one time or another.”

Overall, four Spartans finished in the top 14. Junior Valery Plata tied for third place at 5-under-par, with two birdies after playing bogey-free with a 4-under-par 68 on Saturday.

Plata also took home the Big Ten Mary Fossum Award, awarded to the golfer with the lowest stroke average below par. She's the first to win the award for the green and white after the late MSU coach since Sarah Burnham in 2018.

Paz Marfa Sans had her best round of the tournament Sunday with a 2-under-par 70, that placed her in eighth place with a finish of -2. This marked the second career top-10 Big Ten Championships finish for the graduate student.

“On the first tee today, I told her ‘This is why you came back,” Slobodnik-Stoll said in a release. “She sealed the deal for us today. She played great, she was steady and did what she needed to do. She’s just an awesome teammate.”

Leila Raines and Valentina Rossi were also a crucial part to the Spartans' title run after they placed 11th and 14th respectively — Raines had shot at even-par 216 after a 4-over-par 76 and Rossi shot a 1-over-par 73 Sunday to collect a tournament total of 1-over-par 217. The pair of freshman did their jobs, Slobodnik-Stoll joked.

As for the rest of the Spartans, senior Yurika Tanida shot a 3-over-par 75 to finish in a tie for 20th place — five Spartans were in the top 20. Junior Haylin Harris shot an 8-over-par 80 to finish in a tie for 45th place.

The conference championship gives the Spartan ladies the Big Ten's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, which begins with Regionals on May 10-12. The NCAA Women's Golf Championships selection show will air on the Golf Channel on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

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