Michigan Opens Spring with 13th-Place Finish in Puerto Rico
Catherine Peters

Feb. 18, 2014

Site: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Course: Rio Mar Country Club - River Course (par 72, 6,191 yards)
Tournament: Lady Puerto Rico Classic
U-M Team Standing: 13th Place of 15 Teams (304-307-306/917)
Top U-M Individual: Grace Choi, tie-24th (73-73-78/224)
Next U-M Event: Mon-Wed., March 3-5 -- at Hurricane Invitational (Miami, Fla.)

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico -- Freshman Grace Choi (Dallas, Texas/Woodrow Wilson HS) finished with a career-best 224 total to lead the University of Michigan women's golf team to a 917 team total and a 13th-place finish today (Tuesday, Feb. 18) at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic held at the Rio Mar Country Club River Course.

In its first action of the spring season, Choi opened a one-over 73 to lead U-M as the Wolverines posted a 304 first-round total Sunday (Feb. 16), with both Choi and U-M among the top 10. Choi's second straight one-over 73 helped her remain in the top 15 after the second day of play Monday (Feb. 17) as U-M had a 307 second-round tally to drop into a tie for 13th. Closing with a final-round 78, Choi tied for 24th individually, while U-M had a 306 final round and finish 13th.

Behind Choi, the top scoring Wolverines were sophomore Catherine Peters (Clarence, N.Y./Clarence HS), who tied for 34th at 227 (76-76-75), and senior Yugene Lee (Athens, Georgia/Oconee County HS), who tied for 50th at 231(79-77-75).

Closing out the scoring for the Maize and Blue were junior Laura Grogan (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson HS), who tied for 63rd with a 235 total (76-81-78), and senior Alyssa Shimel's (Pemberville, Ohio/Eastwood) 245 total (79-87-79), good for 77th place.

The Wolverines will just have two weeks before they head back out to competition when U-M travels to Miami, Fla., Monday through Wednesday (March 3-5) for the Hurricane Invitational, which will be held at the Biltmore Golf Course. The Maize and Blue makes a return trip to Miami's home tournament after finishing seventh in the 2012 event.

Final Team Standings

 1. Arkansas       288-283-296 = 867 (+3)
 2. GRU Augusta    297-287-297 = 881
 3. Northwestern   301-290-295 = 886
 4. Auburn         298-298-295 = 891
 5. Georgia        298-294-300 = 892
 6. Alabama        295-303-295 = 893
    Purdue         306-291-296 = 893
    N.C. State     297-297-299 = 893
 9. Iowa State     296-298-301 = 895
10. Tennessee      300-300-299 = 899
11. Texas Tech     307-295-306 = 908
12. Kent State     305-296-313 = 914
13. MICHIGAN       304-307-306 = 917
14. Missouri       315-297-308 = 920
15. TCU            308-307-306 = 921

Top Individuals

 1. Aurora Kan, Purdue              71-68-72 = 211 (-5)
    Stephanie Meadow, Alabama       75-68-68 = 211
 3. Gaby Lopez, Arkansas            73-68-73 = 214
 4. Emma Lavy, Arkansas             73-68-75 = 216
    Brittany Marchand, N.C. State   71-72-73 = 216
    Emily Tubert, Arkansas          68-73-75 = 216
 7. Alex Harrell, Auburn            71-74-72 = 217
    Kimmy Hill, Texas Tech          74-70-73 = 217
    Casey Kennedy, GRU Augusta      75-69-73 = 217
    Josefine Nyqvist, GRU Augusta   73-70-74 = 217

Michigan Individuals

T24. Grace Choi         73-73-78 = 224
T34. Catherine Peters   76-76-75 = 227
T50. Yugene Lee         79-77-75 = 231
T63. Lauren Grogan      76-81-78 = 235
 77. Alyssa Shimel      79-87-79 = 245


Grace Choi set a new career best for a 54-hole tournament with her 224, shaving one stroke off her previous best of 225, set at the Palmetto Intercollegiate at Turtle Point.

Grace Choi earned her second consecutive top-25 finish, marking the third such finish for any Wolverine this season -- Lauren Grogan finished 19th at the Challenge at Onion Creek and Choi finished 20th at the Palmetto Intercollegiate at Turtle Point.

• After starting all 10 events last season, Lauren Grogan has continued playing in every event this season. She has started 18 consecutive events for U-M.


Michigan Head Coach Jan Dowling
On the spring opening performance at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic ... "I was pleased and I feel the team should be pleased as well. The players implemented some technical changes to their swings, their short game and/or putting throughout this event. I was really impressed with the way they were able to take that onto the golf course in competition. It says a lot about what's upcoming for us in the spring. They should have a lot of confidence knowing their hard work is starting to pay off. Probably the most difficult part about competitive golf is being able to execute under pressure. They did that to a certain extent. It was great to see."

On the play of Grace Choi and Catherine Peters ... "It did appear that Grace was ready to compete right away. That is a testament to our practice facility and it is a testament to the work she put in over the winter. For her to come out and shoot a pair of 73s in the first two rounds and be among the top 15 in a real quality and national ranked field says a lot about her potential. She should gain some confidence from the position she put herself in. As far as Cat goes, she made more birdies this event than she did all fall. That is a testament to all the work she put into her putting."

On where the Wolverines go now ... "For the next two weeks at home at the Weisfeld facility and just continue to keep working hard before we head back out for Miami's event. We open the break with a competitive event and then we will continue to work down there and get some more competitive rounds in near the end. This will help serve as a springboard into the rest of the spring season. Getting reps in on a golf course is going to be great for us."

Contact: Tom Wywrot (twywrot@umich.edu), Chad Shepard (shepchad@umich.edu)