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MSU women's golf in 19th at NCAA finals, still in contention to advance

The Michigan State women’s golf team shot a 16-over par 304 in the second round on Saturday and is in 19th place among 30 teams at the NCAA Championships, being played at the par-72, 6,297-yard La Costa Champions Course in Carlsbad, Calif.

The final round of stroke play qualifying will be held on Sunday and then the top 15 teams and nine individuals (not on advancing teams) will play a final 18 holes Monday to determine the individual champion and the top eight teams will advance to match play.  On May 21 there will be 36 holes of match play and then the match play championship will take place May 22.

After playing in the morning round on Friday, the Spartans teed off in the afternoon round and played under sunny skies but battled strong winds through the round on Saturday.

Michigan State women's golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll (left) and junior Katie Lu talk during the NCAA regionals earlier this month.
Michigan State women's golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll (left) and junior Katie Lu talk during the NCAA regionals earlier this month.

“I think the observation was that the teams that played in the afternoon round today really had different conditions than the teams that played in the morning,” MSU coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll said. “That’s the way our sport goes. It’s an outdoor sport so we have to learn to deal with those things.

“I think we just made some mistakes that were pretty sloppy, along with having the windy conditions that proved to be challenging for a lot of teams. We’re still very close to where we want to be so tomorrow we go out and play as hard as we can.”

Texas A&M leads the championship at 11-under par 565, five shots ahead of second-place Stanford (6-under par 570), with Clemson in third place (3-under par 573), UCLA fourth (2-under par 574) and Auburn and LSU tied for fifth place (1-under par 575).

The Spartans, playing in their third NCAA Championships in the last four year and the 14th under Slobodnik-Stoll, are in 19th place at 16-over par 592 (288-304), just five shots off the final qualifying spot, with Wake Forest and Arizona State tied for 14th place at 11-over par 587.

Senior Leila Raines is the leader for Michigan State, posting a team-best 1-over par 73 on Saturday. She is tied for 29th place overall at even-par 144 (71-73).

Junior Katie Lu shot a 3-over par 75 on Saturday and is tied for 62nd place with a score of 4-over par 148 (73-75).

Junior Brooke Bierman is two shots back, tied for 86th place at 6-over par 150 (72-78), while junior Shannon Kennedy is tied for 101st place at 8-over par 152 (74-78).

Sophomore Paula Balanzategui struggled in the second round and is in 150th place at 16-over par 160 (72-88).

The Spartans will tee off on Sunday in the third round at 3:22 p.m. ET, starting on the 10th hole and playing alongside South Carolina and Oregon State.

“You have years of experience with these young players and they’ve played so well this year and done so many great things so the lesson (tomorrow) is to play hard and play like Spartans,” Slobodnik-Stoll said. “That’s what we did at the regional at home. That message is loud and clear for them and they really are motivated to make the top-15 tomorrow.”

— MSU Athletic Communications

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: MSU women's golf 19th at NCAA finals, still in contention to advance