Sophomore Ashley Bauer is as consistent as they come, and this weekend was no different.
Coming into the Big Ten Championships last weekend, the Michigan women’s golf team was ranked 8th in the conference. But that did not discourage Bauer, who led the Wolverines to a fifth place finish.
She tied for 10th with a four-round total of 301.
“Honestly, I did not think she was going to shoot this well this early in her career,” Michigan coach Kathy Teichert said. “She has definitely surprised me in many ways and has matured through the course of the season. She no doubt has led us in a lot of tournaments this year, and I am really excited to have her back.”
Bauer was not the only Wolverine to shoot well in State College.
Freshman Min Yean Tan used scores of 74 and 75 in the first two rounds to propel her to a 305, good for 19th place in the tournament and a freshman program record.
“We all knew this was a big event, and I think we played really well,” Tan said. “There were a lot more people following us around, so there was that added pressure. It just felt like more of a professional event.”
As a young golfer, Tan knows that she will need to continue to improve certain aspects of her game if she wants to compete with the nation’s elite.
“I just think I need to improve my ball striking and my mental game,” she said. “This course was set up a lot tougher for us. With finals being this past week, I did not have as much time to practice my long distance game so that is something I will need to work on in the off-season.”
Junior co-captain Lydia Benítez Colón, who has struggled to consistently play well this season, posted a career-best three-under 69 in the third round. She led the charge as Michigan tied its season-low round score of 298.
“My chipping and putting was not great the first two rounds,” Colón said. “I then asked Coach for some help, and she gave me a few tips that seemed to help me out.”
Colón also looked to some outside help after her dismal 83- and 80-stroke performances on Friday.
“I had worked with (Associate Athletic Director and Director of Counseling) Greg Harden before,” Colón said. “He is sort of a sports psychologist I guess, but I called him up, and he told me to just keep my head in the game.”
Harden’s advice must have worked because Colón had her best round as a Wolverine on Saturday.
Teichert was pleased with the play from all of her golfers this weekend. She was especially happy for the experience they gained from playing at such a competitive level.
“I just told the team — seedings, rankings — they do no matter at this point in the season,” Teichert said. “Low scores win golf tournaments. We had some huge obstacles in front of us with Purdue and MSU being so highly ranked, but we just wanted to make sure we could be competitive. We saw this weekend that we can definitely compete.”
Despite a little-to-no chance of making an NCAA Regional, Teichert is very optimistic about the future with just two Wolverines graduating this year. She will look to Tan and Bauer to guide Michigan for the next few seasons.