Playing in its first scored tournament since early November, the Michigan women’s golf team got off to a slow start in Puerto Rico. After finishing 12th out of 15 teams in the three-day Lady Puerto Rico Classic, which concluded Tuesday, the Wolverines will be looking to improve as spring play continues.
When asked what Michigan coach Cheryl Stacy was asked what she thought of their performance, she replied that she was disappointed.
“I thought we’d play better,” Stacy said.
Over 54 holes in the three-day tournament, the Wolverines never got things rolling — they were tied for 12th following day one and 13th after day two.
One positive was the play of senior Meagan Bauer, who placed 11th, the best individual performance for Michigan. Bauer stood out for the second time this season, as she won the Lady Northern Intercollegiate in October. Sophomore Yugene Lee was the only other Wolverine placing in the top 50.
Stacy was pleased with Bauer’s three-day total of 222 (73-73-76), attributing Bauer’s success to how she is “always so steady (because) she doesn’t get into a lot of trouble off the tee.”
Starting off with back-to-back 73s in the first two rounds, Bauer slipped on Tuesday with a four-over-par round. But that wasn’t a surprise, as the team has struggled with three-day tournaments.
Comparatively, Michigan has faired much better at 54-hole events played over two days. The Wolverines finished in third twice and in second once in their last three two-day tournaments, while they finished fourth, 13th and now 12th in three-day events.
Such inconsistency is certainly not ideal for the Wolverines, and Stacy mentioned how she hopes the team can begin playing better in all events.
With five days in between events, Michigan will have to make adjustments quickly. But the team is accustomed to speedy turnarounds, repeatedly going to tournaments then back to school and then back to playing again. There’s no respite coming, either — between a few trips to Florida and a trip to Arizona, they’ll constantly be on the move until the Big Ten Championships in late April. Such travel can have an impact on the student-athletes’ academic responsibilities, which is something the women’s golf team handles well.
“(They’re) pretty good about studying when they have time,” Stacy said.
While away from home, the Wolverines do get a chance to enjoy slightly better weather than they’d experience in Ann Arbor. But as enjoyable as their downtime was, they hope disappointment will not become the standard reaction for Stacy.
With the Central District Classic (Feb. 20-21) and the Hurricane Invitational (March 5-6) coming up, Michigan is looking forward to another pair of strong showings like they’ve had in prior two-day events. The Wolverines are hoping that Puerto Rico was just a bump in the road now that the spring half of their season is underway.