Feb. 5, 2013
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Sun-Tue., Feb. 10-12 -- at Lady Puerto Rico Classic (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico)
Next on the Tee
In its first match of the spring season, the University of Michigan women's golf team travels to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, for Purdue's Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Sunday through Tuesday, Feb. 10-12. The three-day, 54-hole event will feature a 15-team field playing on The River Course at the Rio Mar Beach Resort. Scoring for the Lady Puerto Rico Classic will be five players; count the low four scores each round playing in threesomes. The River Course will be set up for a par 72 at 6,191 yards.
The Tournament Field
There will be 15 teams in the field for the 2013 Lady Puerto Rico Classic, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Indiana, Iowa State, Kent State, Kentucky, Michigan, N.C. State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Southern Methodist, TCU and Texas Tech.
The Tournament Schedule
Sunday, Feb. 10 -- First Round (15) begins with tee times at 8 a.m. AST
Monday, Feb. 11 -- Second Round (15) begins with tee times at 8 a.m. AST
Tuesday, Feb. 12 -- Third Round (15) begins with tee times at 7:30 a.m. AST
The Wolverine Lineup
Michigan will travel six to the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, with the starting five determined following the practice round. U-M's sophomore class heads up U-M's travel squad as Linda Luo (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch HS), Lauren Grogan (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson HS) and Devon Compton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Stoney Creek HS) make up the top half of the Wolverine lineup. Juniors Chelsea Pezzola (Bradenton, Fla./Saint Stephens Episcopal Prep), Alicia Weber (Northville, Mich./Northville HS) and Yugene Lee (Athens, Ga./Oconee County HS) round out the Maize and Blue team headed to Rio Grande.
Michigan returns to competition after a near three-month break.
U-M played in four events during its fall season and will have five additional regular-season events during the spring. The Big Ten Tournament will once again be played at the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind., and the Donald Ross Course.
Michigan will open its spring season at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic for the sixth straight season. The Wolverines had their best team finish in 2009, tying for 11th. U-M has also finished 12th twice (2010, '12), 13th (2011) and 15th (2008).
The Wolverines have had an individual finish among the top 20 at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in four of the five events. Last season, former Wolverine Meagan Bauer (2009-12) posted the best individual finish as she tied for 11th.
During the fall season, Michigan had two top-five team finishes, including tying for the team title at the Wolverine Invitational held at the U-M Golf Course. Linda Luo led U-M in the fall with a 75.50 per-round average. As a team, U-M posted an average of 308.67.
Alicia Weber captured her first career medalist honor by winning the Wolverine Invitational, playing as an individual. A transfer from Cal Poly, her prior best finish was runner-up at the 2010 Lamkin Grip/Cal Poly Invitational.
With the win at the Wolverine Invitational, Michigan recorded its 32nd team title in program history and second under head coach Cheryl Stacy. In 28 women's golf events played on the U-M Golf Course, Michigan has claimed 10 team titles and nine individual titles.
Michigan will carry nine players this season, none of which will comprise a senior class. The Wolverines will carry four juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.
U-M has been represented in regional competition by the team or an individual in 10 of the last 12 seasons, making team appearances in 2001, '02, '05, '07, '09, '11 and '12.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
On if she gets the urge to get back out and play ... "Yeah, definitely. It's harder coaching than it is playing, because nothing is in your control. There have been times where one of the girls might be in trouble, and you're trying to explain a shot that they need to hit, and they're just not getting it. Sometimes you just want to take the club from them and show them how to do it, but unfortunately you can't, so you just stand there and try to guide them along."
On if she still enjoys playing golf ... "I still love playing golf. When I get out there and play, it's fun for me. To have fun, it has to be a new and exciting golf course or with different people I don't play golf with a lot. For me to go home to Florida and play the golf course I played every single day of my life, it's probably not too fun, but when we go on trips like Spring Break, I really look forward to that. When we went to Naples and played three rounds there on new golf courses, that was a lot of fun. When I played tournaments in the summertime, it's a lot of fun just to get back into the competitive mode, too."
On returning to the Big Ten after playing collegiately at Purdue ... "Yeah, it's been fun. A lot of the coaches when I was a player are still around, so it's kind of a different role now, talking to those guys as opposed to when I was a player and everything was professional. Now we're all colleagues, and it's a lot of fun just even being able to be out on the road, like this weekend going down to Puerto Rico where Purdue hosts, and that's a pretty cool feeling. It makes me proud that they host something so big; to know that maybe I was a little part of how they got there. But the Big Ten, I mean there's nothing like our conference. We typically in the past played the worst tournaments in the worst weather, and it's good to see that the Big Ten is branching out and heading south to keep up with the rest of the competition out there."
On how winter training went following a successful fall season ... "We thought that this winter was our most successful one thus far. I've been here just two years, but we scheduled some competitions at the end of practice every single day, and it was basically a one-shot type competition, and we made the rest of the team watch. So it created a lot of pressure, and they really enjoyed it. We also gave them time to practice on their own, which they really enjoy, as well as giving them certain drills to do. So I think this winter, we even got outside probably three or four times, too. I feel like when we went to Naples, we were prepared, and if we keep working on them mentally, I think when we get to Puerto Rico we'll be a lot more prepared than we were last year."
On the high competition level on the ping pong table ... "I certainly do not play half as much as the boys do, but my game has certainly improved. I have beat Chris Whitten a few times, and just last week I was the reigning champ, for a day anyway. I'm going to claim that. I promptly lost the next day after losing the last set to him. I don't take on Nick Pumford yet, he's a little bit out of my league. But give me a little more time, and I'll get there."
LAST TIME OUT (Oct. 28-29)
Highlighted by top-25 finishes from Linda Luo and Lauren Grogan, Michigan tallied a season-best 894 event total to tie for fourth place at the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate held at the Oak Point Golf Club. Luo led U-M with her third top-15 finish of the fall season as she tied for 15th at 222 (71-75-76), while Grogan tied for 23rd with a season-best 224 (71-74-79).
Fri-Sun., Feb. 15-17 -- at Mash Up Invitational (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Fri-Sun., March 8-10 -- at Clover Cup Invitational (Mesa, Ariz.)
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423