After finishing near the bottom of the NCAA Central Regional last year, the women’s golf team knew it would have to put in extra work this summer.

Senior captain Amy Schmucker and junior Brianna Broderick were just two of the Wolverines to keep up their game in national and regional tournaments.

Both Schmucker and Broderick qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, held Aug. 1-7, at the Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga. It was the first time two Wolverines made the tournament. Any female player with a USGA Handicap Index 5.4 or under qualify, but only 156 players make the final championship. The Amateur consists of two rounds of stroke play to compete in a 64-player field of match play.

“It’s the biggest tournament you can qualify for,” Schmucker said. “They treat you like you’re on the pro tour.”

Schmucker played in the Amateur last year, losing in the first round of match play. Her goal this summer was to not only make the cut, but also win a match.

“To be able to play with that kind of competition tells you where you stand as a player,” Schmucker said.

Schmucker shot a 70 on the first day, finding herself atop the leaderboard after the morning round. She was even called into the clubhouse for media interviews.

“It was kind of like my 15 minutes (of fame),” Schmucker said.

According to Michigan coach Kathy Teichert, the attention was well-deserved.

“She had pretty much a flawless round,” Teichert said. “She made wise decisions. Her tempo was great. It was the best I’ve ever seen her play.”

On the second day, Schmucker shot a five-over 77 — good enough for the 19th spot in stroke play and qualifying her for the 64-player match round.

Schmucker won her first round match against Tulane University’s Kasi Lee, 2-and-1. She then went up against University of Arkansas’s Amanda McCurdy in the second round. McCurdy was the runner-up of last year’s U.S Amateur, providing Schmucker with tough competition. McCurdy won the match won 6-and-5. Despite the loss, Schmucker was satisfied with her play.

“When I’m playing my best, I can play near that level (of the top players in the country),” Schmucker said.

Broderick didn’t fare as well, shooting an 83 and 81, and failing to qualify for match play.

“Her expectations are very high,” Teichert said. “She missed some fairways and didn’t hit well at all.”

Said Broderick: “My game was a rollercoaster this summer. I’ll get back to normal this fall.”

Teichert knows Broderick will bounce back from summer disappointments. Last year, Broderick had Michigan’s lowest stroke average, a 75.50 and will be asked to be a leader on the team this season.

“I’m not worried about how Bri is going to come back and perform,” Teichert said.

With the graduation of former Wolverine Laura Olin, the team will not only rely heavily on veterans like Schmucker and Broderick, but also on new players.

“There’s been a lot of improvement over the summer, including Rose (Gassard),” Teichert said. “She had some great breakthroughs, making the quarterfinals of the Michigan Amateur.”

Gassard, who redshirted last year, is just one of a handful of players vying for a spot on the team this season. Yesterday, the Wolverines began competing against each other in four rounds of golf to qualify for a spot at the season’s first tournament, the Mary Fossum Invitational, at Michigan State Sept. 17-18. The five lowest scorers will make the trip to East Lansing.

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