The Michigan women’s golf team performed well this weekend, despite being at the back of the competition after the first day.

The team traded in its winter coats for the weekend by traveling to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico for the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, where it finished 13th in a pool of 18 of the nation’s top teams.

Despite not being ranked in the top 25, the Wolverines competed against some pretty daunting rivals, including No. 1 Alabama. The team finished ahead of rivals Penn State and Indiana.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect this weekend,” Michigan coach Cheryl Stacy said. “The field was very strong. All of the teams except for 1 or 2 were ahead of us.”

There were warm and somewhat windy conditions on the 6,191-yard course — Michigan put its best foot forward and kept pace with the stiff competition.

The Wolverines moved up the rankings from finishing day one in 16th place to finishing the second round in 13th. They maintained that ranking through the final round of play.

Junior Megan Bauer stood out from the crowd, finishing with an overall score of 229 at the conclusion of the three-day, 54-hole competition — good for 29th place. Freshman Alyssa Shimel also exceeded expectations, as she finished 40th with a score of 232.

Freshman Chelsea Pezzola was the comeback performer of the weekend, ending the first day with a score of 91 — a career-worst score.

“She came back that second day, after being so down on herself, and shot a 73,” Stacy said. “She was able to keep her head up.”

Yugene Lee and Min Yean Tran performed well, finishing 67th and 79th, respectively, with consistent averages for the three rounds.

Having been in their first tournament of the season, it was a great learning experience to get acclimated to the competition at the collegiate level.

“We still have a lot of work on our short game,” Stacy said. “It’s hard when you’re up north, inside, just hitting balls. In this competition, we learned so much from playing the golf course. It’s so easy for the girls to get caught up in the mechanics, rather than just hitting the ball.”

The team also comes away from Rio Grande with more confidence to perform well under pressure.

“Some of the girls were paired with the best girls in the country,” Stacy said. “They just need to believe in themselves.”

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