April 29, 2012
Site: French Lick, Ind.
Course: Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort (par 72, 6,156 yards)
Tournament: Big Ten Championships
U-M Team Standing: 4th Place of 12 Teams (305-294-301/900)
Top U-M Individual: Yugene Lee, 2nd (75-72-70/217, +1)
Next U-M Event: Thu-Sat., May 10-12 -- at NCAA Regional (Site TBD)
FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- Sophomore Yugene Lee's (Athens, Ga./Oconee County HS) runner-up finish, along with senior Meagan Bauer's (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc HS) top-10 showing and freshman Lauren Grogan's (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson HS) tie for 14th, gave the University of Michigan women's golf team a 900 54-hole total and a fourth-place finish today (Sunday, April 29) at the Big Ten Championships at the French Lick Resort's Donald Ross course.
Opening with a 305 in Friday's (April 27) first round, paced by Bauer's two-over 74 and Lee's 75, the Wolverines closed the first day fourth but moved up a position after 36 holes (Saturday, April 28) following a pair of 72s from Bauer and Lee as well as a one-over 73 from Grogan.
In the final round today, Lee's two-under 70 and Grogan's two-over 74 allowed the Maize and Blue to climb as high as second but eventually close fourth with a 900 total, helping the Wolverines to their highest conference finish since 2006. Just five strokes separated second to fourth between Michigan, Purdue (310-294-291/895) and Ohio State (298-297-303/898), while Michigan State (298-292-295/885) claimed the team title.
Individually, Lee's strong finish helped equal the highest finish all-time by a Wolverine at the conference tournament as she was the runner-up with a one-over 217 total, setting the U-M Big Ten Championships 54-hole record by 14 strokes. Lee is just the third Wolverine to finish as the runner-up, after she posted rounds of 75, 72 and 70.
Using a career-best Big Ten Championships tally, Bauer posted her third top-10 finish of the season as she tied for 10th at 223 (74-72-77). Lee and Bauer's performances mark just the fourth time the U-M program has placed two players among the top 10 at the conference event. Grogan gave the Maize and Blue three among the top 15 as she tied for 14th at 225 (78-73-74).
Other Michigan finishers included freshmen Linda Luo (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch HS) tying for 36th at 235 (78-77-80); sophomore Chelsea Pezzola (Bradenton, Fla./Saint Stephens Episcopal Prep) finishing 66th at 249 (79-81-89); and sophomore Alyssa Shimel (Pemberville, Ohio/Eastwood HS) closing 70th at 255 (86-82-87).
With the conference tournament completed, the Wolverines will wait to see if they are selected for their fourth straight and 10th overall NCAA Regional appearance. The selection announcement is scheduled Monday (April 30) at 9 p.m., with the broadcast live via a webcast on NCAA.com.
Final Team Standings
1. Michigan State 298-292-295 = 885 2. Purdue 310-294-291 = 895 3. Ohio State 298-297-303 = 898 4. MICHIGAN 305-294-301 = 900 5. Illinois 304-300-302 = 906 6. Nebraska 309-302-297 = 908 7. Northwestern 307-304-306 = 917 8. Minnesota 318-301-299 = 918 9. Wisconsin 318-303-307 = 928 10. Iowa 319-301-309 = 929 11. Penn State 309-312-313 = 934 12. Indiana 334-311-299 = 944
1. Laura Gonzalez, Purdue 78-69-69 = 216 2. YUGENE LEE, U-M 75-72-70 = 217 3. Caroline Powers, Michigan State 72-73-73 = 218 Rachel Rohanna, Ohio State 74-71-73 = 218 Madeleine Sheils, Nebraska 76-71-71 = 218 Lindsey Solberg, Michigan State 73-70-75 = 218 7. Chelsea Harris, Iowa 78-70-72 = 220 Jackie Shepherd, Minnesota 73-73-74 = 220 9. Nora Lucas, Illinois 72-75-74 = 221 10. MEAGAN BAUER, U-M 74-72-77 = 223 Hailey Koschmann, Illinois 78-70-75 = 223 Paula Reto, Purdue 76-75-72 = 223
Other Michigan Individuals
T14. Lauren Grogan 78-73-74 = 225 T36. Linda Luo 78-77-80 = 235 66. Chelsea Pezzola 79-81-89 = 249 70. Alyssa Shimel 86-82-87 = 255
N O T E S
For the first time since 2005, the Big Ten Championships were played as a 54-hole event. In fact, it is just the seventh time since 1980 the conference tournament was three rounds. In 2005 and 1996, the event was shortened to 54 holes due to weather and officially played as 54 holes from 1981 to 1984.
Michigan's 900 total set the U-M 54-hole Big Ten Championships record by 32 shots. The previous record was 932 (310-303-319) at the 2005 Big Ten Championships.
Michigan recorded its eighth all-time top-five finish at the Big Ten Championships and first since the 2008 event.
Yugene Lee equaled the best finish for a Wolverine at the Big Ten Championships. She is now tied with Ashley Bauer (second in 2010) and LeAnna Wicks (tied for second in 2002) for the highest finish at the conference tournament.
Yugene Lee becomes just the fourth Wolverine to earn a top-five finish at the Big Ten Championships -- joining Ashley Bauer (second, 2010), Amy Schmucker (fifth, 2006) and LeAnna Wicks (tie for second, 2002).
Yugene Lee's second-place finish and Meagan Bauer's tie for 10th mark just the fourth time Michigan had two players finish among the top 10 at the Big Ten Championships. The last time it happened was during the 2005 championship when Brianna Broderick was ninth and Amy Schmucker was 10th. The other two include: Sharon Park and Wendy Westfall each tying for seventh in 1997 and Katy Loy and Wendy Westfall each tying for 10th in 1996.
Yugene Lee broke Michigan's 54-hole record at the Big Ten Championship by 14 shots. The previous record was 231 held by Brianna Broderick at the 2005 event. Meagan Bauer's 223 and Lauren Grogan's 225 also topped the record.
Yugene Lee's two-under 70 final round is the third-best round shot at the Big Ten Championships in program history. The all-time mark is the Big Ten-record 65 (-7) by Ashley Bauer in 2010 and the three-under 69 by Lydia Benitez Colon in 2008.
Meagan Bauer's tie for 10th is a career-best finish at the Big Ten Championships. She topped her tie for 14th at last year's event.
Meagan Bauer, Yugene Lee and Alyssa Shimel have started all 11 events this season. In fact, Bauer has started her last 33, while Shimel has not missed a start in her two seasons, a string of 23 straight.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Cheryl Stacy
On the Big Ten Championships ... "In the simplest form -- it was fun and it was nerve wrecking. It was exciting because they had a chance. They played well enough to put themselves in the position to win and I think it was great for them to find out what it is like to be in the hunt and feel those nerves. If knew if they could have finished second, or even beat Ohio State, they knew that would have been huge. They are a little bummed, but this was a really great learning experience. There were just so many positives we will be able to take away from this that it makes things exciting. We played a lot of good holes and again, it was just a lot of fun.
"It was awesome to see the way Yugene (Lee) played. She really got better with each day. She was just one shot out from winning and that says a lot about how her game is really coming along. For Lauren (Grogan) this is such a confidence booster. I know Meagan (Bauer) was pretty bummed at how she finished, but she has been such an integral part of this team that she should not hang her head for too long."
On if Michigan will make an NCAA Regional for the fourth straight year ... "We have a pretty good chance. We are right on the bubble, so beating a few teams here this weekend might help us out a bit. We have a chance and will find out tomorrow at 9 p.m."
U-M Sophomore Yugene Lee
On her play at the Big Ten Championships ... "This course was all about placement. Every single hole I tried to play everything shot by shot and not get carried away by being aggressive. You have to just be smart on this course and I tried to do that throughout the weekend. I wanted to make sure I put myself in the right spot for the next shot or the best putt."
On if she knew she was in contention for the title ... "On the 16th hole, I saw that we were in second place on the leaderboard and I knew I was near the top myself. Unfortunately, we did not finish too well and we slipped to fourth, but I still had a chance. So, I did ask coach how did the leader finish, and she said at even par. So, I knew I had to either par or birdie to get into the top two. Fortunately for me it worked out. As much as I am pleased with the finish, I wanted to see us finish second not me."
On the Wolverines' finish ... "Coming in here I knew we actually had a chance of winning the tournament. We are a really young team with five underclassmen in the lineup so it just shows where the program is going to go over the next several years. We got a lot of confidence this weekend."
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423