U-M Makes Third-Round Run, Just Misses NCAA Final Cut

May 22, 2016

What You Need to Know
» With a valiant effort, Michigan posted a third-round 292, giving U-M an 887 54-hole team total to just miss advancing to Monday's final team round by four shots.
» Junior Grace Choi finished as the top Wolverine, tying for 41st with a three-over 219 (70-76-73) championship total.
» Sophomore Megan Kim was a shot behind Choi, tying for 45th at 220 (72-74-74).
» Michigan made just its second NCAA Championships appearance and first in 14 years.

Photo Gallery  | NCAA Championships Central

Site: Eugene, Ore.
Course: Eugene Country Club (par 72, 6,331 yards)
Tournament: NCAA Championships (Day 3 of 4)
U-M Team Standing: Tie-18th Place of 24 Teams (296-299-292/887) after Day 3
Top U-M Individual: Grace Choi, tie- 41st (70- 76-73/ 219, +3)
Next U-M Round: Season Complete

EUGENE, Ore. -- With a valiant third-round team effort and a career-best three-under 69 tally from freshman Elodie Van Dievoet, the University of Michigan women's golf team fell just four shots short of advancing to the final stroke-play round today (Sunday, May 22) at the NCAA Championships being played at the Eugene Country Club. The Wolverines tied for 18th, with Georgia, after tallying an 887 54-hole team total.

"We got off to a great start today as we knew we didn't have any pressure on us," said U-M head coach Jan Dowling. "We were able to swing freely and swing fearless. That's how you play your best golf. We had a good start on a nine (holes) that we had not played well on this week. We made some birdies early and got ourselves into the mix, and that made it really exciting. However, we faltered a little bit on the middle part of the front nine, and we left some shots out there. Despite losing some shots, we still finished strong and gave ourselves that chance. We never say die, but it just was not enough today."

Tied for 22nd heading into today's first cut day at the national finals, the Wolverines were eight shots back of the coveted top 15 spots and moving on to Monday's (May 23) final stroke-play round.

Van Dievoet provided the early spark for the Wolverines as her three front-nine birdies -- Nos. 13, 15 and 16 -- helped her turn three under. In all, she posted five birdies during the day as she broke the 70-stroke barrier for the first time in her young career with a 69 (-3). Her five birdies today nearly equaled the six total she recorded over the first two rounds.

As she has done all championship long, junior Grace Choi was steady on the back side, playing all three rounds even par. Capitalizing on the par-3 11th hole, she quickly went one under to start the third round. A bogey on the 13th hole was erased after draining a long seven-footer on No. 17 as she made her way to the turn one under. An unlucky lie on her chip into the 18th green came back to bite her as she bogeyed, turning even. Throughout the three days, she has posted 21 pars, three birdies and three bogeys.

Sophomore Megan Kim continued to follow Choi's lead as she made the turn even as well, as birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 erased two bogeys (Nos. 13 and 16).

With the trio of Wolverines' back-side play, U-M moved to the front and continued to slowly climb up the leaderboard as the Maize and Blue was well above the top-15 cutline. With two additional birdies each from Van Dievoet and Choi, U-M went as low as five under and reached as high as 12th. However, midway through the first nine, the Wolverines found trouble on the greens as missed opportunities started to add up.

The Wolverines fell back to even on the day, and the battle for the final spot began as U-M, Alabama, Florida State and Tennessee were all in the mix. Despite a birdie on No.7 by Choi, her double bogey on No. 6 and a bogey on No. 8 as well as two other late-round bogeys caused the Wolverines to drop out of advancing. Closing with a 292, the Wolverines posted an 887 total, four shots back of Florida State, which got the final spot with an 883 tally.

In just the program's second trip to the NCAA Finals, Choi paced the Wolverines, tying for 41st with a three-over 219 (70-76-73) total. With her tally, she was just one shot away from earning one of nine individual spots of a non-qualifying team to move to Monday's final round.

Kim tied for 45th at 220 (72-74-74), while Van Dievoet's final-round 69 (-3) helped her close tied for 70th at a career-best 222 (77-76-69). In her final collegiate event, senior Catherine Peters tied for 96th at 226 (77-73-76), while sophomore Emily White was 127th at 237 (82-78-77).

By not making the cut, U-M's season is completed.

"We are all disappointed, but it was such a good run," said Peters. "Everyone came together at the right time. We peaked when we needed to, which was our goal the entire season. We made it to regionals and made our way through to nationals. So it was and is an exciting time."

"We turned a lot of heads this year, particularly in the postseason," said Dowling. "We train to peak in the postseason, and we were able to do that. This is a pretty special group. They believed in each other. Everything we worked on throughout the year, we were really able to put that to use over the final three events of the year.

"t's pretty special to have a team that has never to regionals before, but to advance through and then give ourselves and run to finish in the top 15 at the national championship is pretty special. This group came to Michigan to build a program, and I am really, really full of pride and very happy for the team and for the future."

Team Standings (Day 3 of 4)

 1. Southern California   289-280-291 = 860 (-4)
 2. UCLA                  286-291-285 = 862
    Duke                  299-283-280 = 862
 4. Washington            289-285-292 = 866
 5. Stanford              295-283-290 = 868
 6. Oregon                297-282-291 = 870
 7. South Carolina        293-289-290 = 872
 8. Virginia              293-294-286 = 873
    Arizona               291-289-293 = 873
10. Northwestern          292-289-295 = 876
    Oklahoma State        284-295-297 = 876
12. Arkansas              292-291-298 = 881
    North Carolina        298-292-291 = 881
14. Alabama               300-292-290 = 882
15. Florida State         295-290-298 = 883
16. Tennessee             297-285-303 = 885
17. Florida               297-293-296 = 886
18. MICHIGAN              296-299-292 = 887
    Georgia               298-291-298 = 887
20. Furman                298-297-293 = 888
21. Miami (Fla)           299-292-299 = 890
22. Ohio State            293-293-306 = 892
23. Texas                 301-290-306 = 897
24. BYU                   294-306-298 = 898

Top Individuals

 1. Virginia Elena Carta, Duke      69-68-66 = 203 (-13)
 2. Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest*   69-73-67 = 209
    Dewi Weber, Miami               69-66-74 = 209
    Cheyenne Knight, Alabama        69-69-71 = 209
 5. Caroline Inglis, Oregon         73-65-73 = 211
    Anna Newell, Tennessee          69-67-75 = 211
 7. Haley Moore, Arizona            68-70-74 = 212
    Bronte Law, UCLA                71-72-69 = 212
    Lauren Coughlin, Virginia       72-72-68 = 212

Michigan Individuals

T41. Grace Choi           70-76-73 = 219 (+3)
T45. Megan Kim            72-74-74 = 220
T70. Elodie Van Dievoet   77-76-69 = 222
T96. Catherine Peters     77-73-76 = 226
127. Emily White          82-78-77 = 237

• Previous Results: Day 2 | Day 1

Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot