By Lev Facher, For The Daily
Published October 30, 2012
Not even the threat of a hurricane could stop the Michigan women’s golf team from setting a season-best combined stroke total at the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate on Kiawah Island, S.C.
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The Wolverines combined for a score of 894 over the weekend, which earned them fourth place in the tournament, held at the Oak Point Golf Club. Michigan topped its previous tournament low of 930, which was recorded in late September in Ann Arbor at the Wolverine Invitational.
Michigan’s total of 296 in the first round set a season best, but the Wolverines broke their own record in the next round with a 295-stroke performance, marking the team’s first two rounds of the season with total scores under 300. The tournament marked the end of Michigan’s fall campaign — the Wolverines don’t compete again until February.
Sophomore Linda Luo led Michigan by tying for 15th place overall with a total score of 222, shooting a 71 in Sunday’s early round, 75 later in the day and 76 on Monday.
Sophomore Lauren Grogan also finished in the top-25, tying a career-best with a one-under-par score of 71 over the first 18 holes on Sunday. Grogan added a 74 in later play on Sunday and finished at 79 on Monday.
“One of the biggest things I’ve been trying to work on is my putting,” Grogan said. “I had two bad holes (Monday) that kind of put me in a bad spot. For the team overall though I think it was a very good ending to the fall season.”
The Wolverines were forced to overcome adverse weather conditions throughout the tournament.
“The wind was howling, probably at 25 miles per hour,” said Michigan coach Cheryl Stacy. “The course played even tougher (Monday) than it did (Sunday). These were probably the highest winds we’ve played in this season.”
Grogan agreed, talking about the concern felt throughout the weekend about the potential effects of Hurricane Sandy, which despite early worries didn’t cause substantial damage in South Carolina or disrupt Michigan’s travel plans.
“This tournament was pretty tough from a weather standpoint,” Grogan said. “Everyone was concerned about the potential hurricane around the coast.
“A couple days ago going into it we knew the weather could be pretty dicey, there wasn’t necessarily so much rain but the wind made it pretty cold. (Monday) turned out to be very nice. It was just windy overall. We’ve played in wind before, but it’s just a matter of us being smart. You need to adjust accordingly.”
Despite the wind, junior Alicia Weber shot a career-best 71 in Sunday’s second round after finishing seven strokes over par in the first round of the tournament. On Monday, Weber finished with a score of 77, giving her a weekend total of 227.
Junior Chelsea Pezzola shot a 78 and 75 Sunday before finishing at two over par Monday, bringing her weekend total to 227, and contributed to the Wolverines’ weekend highlights with a chip-in on a par-5 hole.
Sophomore Devon Compton struggled Sunday, shooting a 79 and a 78 before turning in a one-under-par score of 71 Monday.
“She played really well (Monday),” Stacy said. “That was the highlight of our team individually.”
Freshman Catherine Peters finished at 75 twice Sunday before shooting an 80 on Monday.
“We just set a couple of team goals going in,” Grogan said, citing Michigan’s desire to lower its scoring average on par-5 holes, and for the average numbers of putts and birdies per round.
“Our team scores were a lot better at this (tournament) than they have been for the year,” Stacy said. “There’s good chemistry.”