By Zach Shaw, Daily Sports Writer
Published March 10, 2013
While the greens of the Michigan Golf Course remained white with snow, the women’s golf team traveled to sunny Arizona for a spring break filled with fun and golf.
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The week-long trip concluded with the Clover Cup Invitational, a 16-team event. With rounds of 303, 307, and 311, the Wolverines’ 921 score over 56 holes was good for 12th place. No. 6 Oklahoma took first with a total score of 862.
“It wasn't very good,” said Michigan coach Cheryl Stacy. “The course was set up to be pretty easy, but we had a tough time staying focused.”
The weather certainly didn’t help. After a week of warmth and training, the first round of the Clover Cup was postponed due to rain. To compensate, two rounds were played on Saturday with the final round on Sunday.
“It’s not an excuse at all,” Stacy said. “But our team’s a little on the younger side, and the 11 hour day (on Saturday) probably hurt us more than other teams. We would’ve liked to have played Friday for sure.”
While the weekend was dampened by literal and figurative clouds, the Wolverines found bright spots in sophomores Lauren Grogan and Linda Luo. Consistent leaders of the team all year, the pair helped pace the team with two top-30 finishes.
“Linda and Lauren have been solid for us all year,” Stacy said. “And that’s been really nice, as we’re still growing and figuring things out.”
In addition to the duo, Stacy was pleased with the play of those competing as individuals. Since only five golfers count towards the overall team score, four athletes compete solely for pride as exhibition golfers. It's often hard to stay focused without implications for the team, but the Wolverines — particularly junior Yugene Lee and sophomore Devin Compton, who finished in the top 60 — finished with impressive scores.
“It shows that we have depth on our team, that we want to work hard whether the pressure’s on or not,” said Stacy. “Once we can put the pieces together, I think we’ll be a pretty good team.”
The tournament marked the end of a week long stay in Arizona for Michigan. The trip featured plenty of enjoyable moments, with down time spent at the pool, spring training baseball games and even a Phoenix Coyotes hockey game.
But golf always came first. With no classes, the Wolverines were able to focus on the golf course. something Stacy feels will benefit the Wolverines for the rest of the year.
“It was a great trip,” she said. “We got a lot of golf in and had a lot of fun too. It didn’t really show in the results, but we’re starting to put the pieces together. “
While Stacy sees plenty of room for improvement, she knows it will be hard for her team to come back to Ann Arbor. With the snow just now melting, Stacy isn’t sure her team will be able to practice on their home course in time for their trip to San Diego. While the team can still train indoors, Stacy feels they miss the pressure and competitive feel found on outdoor courses.
“We’re going to try and simulate it the best we can,” Stacy said. “But some of the better teams we saw this weekend had great short games, and if nothing else, we can always work on that.”