U-M Among Tightly Bunched Chase Pack at Big Ten Championships
Alyssa Shimel

April 25, 2014

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Site: French Lick, Ind.
Course: Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort (par 72, 6,017)
Tournament: Big Ten Championships (Day 1 of 3)
U-M Team Standing: 11th Place of 12 Teams (317) after Day 1
Top U-M Individual: Alyssa Shimel, tie-20th (78)
Next U-M Event: Sat-Sun., April 26-27 -- at Big Ten Championships (French Lick, Ind.)

FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- The University of Michigan women's golf team posted a 317 team score today (Friday, April 25) in the first round of the Big Ten Championships being played at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. Despite a strong start and a trio of individuals in the field's top 30, U-M sits in 11th place -- but only three shots out of seventh -- heading into tomorrow's round in the 54-hole tournament that features just one individual who is not over par.

Starting off the back nine, U-M positioned itself well early, with a quick birdie from senior Alyssa Shimel (Pemberville, Ohio/Eastwood) and a strong start from junior Lauren Grogan (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson HS), who remained one under par through six holes. Meanwhile, freshman Grace Choi (Dallas, Texas/Woodrow Wilson HS) and sophomore Catherine Peters (Clarence, N.Y./Clarence H.S.) began their rounds with steady play, as both sat at even par through their first four holes.

Shimel continued to lead the way, birdieing No. 17 and No. 3, while Choi birdied No. 18 and No. 1 to keep the Maize and Blue in the middle of the pack, but high numbers across the back half of the front nine slowed down the Wolverines along with the rest of the field.

Shimel finished the round as Michigan's leader with a six-over 78, placing her among eight players tied for 20th, while Choi and Peters are just one stroke behind in a tie for 28th place. Grogan's first-round score of 81 has her among those tied for 44th.

Michigan will tee off tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to play the second 18 holes of the Big Ten Championships, beginning on the front nine of the Dye Course.

Team Standings (After Day 1 of 3)

 1. Ohio State       301 (+13)
 2. Nebraska         302
 3. Michigan State   305
    Penn State       305
 5. Northwestern     307
 6. Minnesota        309
 7. Iowa             314
 8. Purdue           315
 9. Wisconsin        316
    Illinois         316
11. MICHIGAN         317
12. Indiana          322

Top Individuals

 1. Cassidy Stelzmiller, Nebraska            72 (E)
 2. Jessica Porvasnik, Ohio State            73
 3. Zoe-Beth Brake, Ohio State               74
    Allyssa Ferrell, Michigan State          74
 5. Elyse Archambault, Penn State            75
    Katlyn Elliott, Penn State               75
    Hana Lee, Northwestern                   75
    Katja Pogacar, Ohio State                75
    Morgan Smejkal, Nebraska                 75
    Suchaya Tangkamolprasert, Northwestern   75
    Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Minnesota       75
    Christina Vosters, Penn State            75

Michigan Individuals

T20. Alyssa Shimel      78
T28. Grace Choi         79
T28. Catherine Peters   79
T44. Lauren Grogan      81
T64. Chelsea Pezzola    87
T70. Yugene Lee         90


Michigan Head Coach Jan Dowling
On the team's slow start through the first round of play ... "Today wasn't the start we were hoping for. However, we are only one-third of the way through the tournament and the leaderboard is fairly tight. The team is eager to get out on the course again, focus on our games, and make up some ground."

On the course conditions and the difficulty to score ... "The course played very difficult for all of the teams today. The course requires you to stand up and trust some very intimidating-looking shots. With the high winds today, this made a 'big girls' course play even tougher. A good score today actually required some great imagination, patience, control of our golf ball and a little luck. Alyssa, Grace and Cat were able to do this for most of their rounds, which is fantastic."

Contact: Chad Shepard