Michigan finishes 15th at Lady Puerto Rico Classic

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By Nathaniel Clark, Daily Sports Writer
Published February 17, 2015

In the climax scene of the movie “Tin Cup,” main character Roy McAvoy’s shot rolled into the water 12 times before the ball finally reached the hole, thanks to course conditions.

A similarly excruciating fate befell the Michigan women’s golf team on several holes during the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, sending the Wolverines to a team score of 948 and a last-place finish.

“We would love to have some of those holes back,” said Michigan coach Jan Dowling. “But unfortunately in golf they all count, and this course can get away from you quickly.”

The team’s lone senior, Lauren Grogan, wasn’t in Michigan’s lineup in Puerto Rico. Since the Wolverines could only enter five golfers into the tournament, they held a contest to determine who would go.

“The golfers with the lowest scores were selected,” Dowling said. “Lauren was not one of them this time. There will be more lineup changes though this season.”

Sophomore Grace Choi led Michigan by placing 55th out of 82 golfers with a score of 233. After a 79-stroke first round that consisted of a triple bogey, four bogeys and just one birdie, she rebounded to shoot 75 in the second round with four birdies. But a 79-shot performance in the third round prevented her from climbing higher on the leaderboard.

“(Choi) leads by example,” Dowling said. “Which was important because she was the oldest and most experienced golfer for us this weekend.”

Freshman Megan Kim also finished in the top 60, notching 58th place and scoring 234. She improved on an 80-stroke second round that included three double bogeys to score 76 in the third round with birdies on the third and 18th holes.

Two more freshmen, Kathy Lim and Emily White, also were in the Wolverines’ lineup. 

Lim opened the tournament on a high note, completing the first round in 75 shots and notching three birdies in the process. But triple bogeys on the eighth hole in round two and the 15th hole in round three contributed to stroke counts of 83 and 81, respectively, and a total score of 239 for 67th place.

White’s performance was nearly a mirror image of Lim’s, as White took 80 shots in the first round with triple bogeys on the eighth and 12th holes. She dropped her score to 78 in the third round with a birdie on the 13th hole to attain a final tally of 241 and a 71st-place finish.

“We got into trouble off the tee, and that hurt us,” Dowling said.

Though the result of the Puerto Rico Classic was disappointing for Michigan, it did get to face seven teams ranked in the top 25 nationally, a point Dowling touched upon.

“Tournament play is the best form of practice there is,” Dowling said. “We want to be a top team as well. In order to do that, you have to compete against them and learn.”