Heading into the most important stretch of the season, junior Ashley Lau and the Wolverines stayed hot, tallying a sixth straight top-five finish as the team finished fourth in the Indiana Invitational.
The Indiana Invitational closed out Michigan’s regular season with the team playing for the first time at the brand new Pfau Course. The tournament should have amounted to quite a bit of pressure on the Wolverines, as it was the first with all fourteen Big Ten teams in the field.
Evidently, they had no problem handling that pressure. Lau led the team with a four-under par 212 three-round total underscored by a performance that tied a career-low 68, leading to her first career individual win. She was rewarded for her dominant performance with Big Ten Co-Golfer of the Week honors. Freshman Monet Chun had a strong week as well, opening with a two-under 70. Chun finished with a three-round total of 222.
The strong performance was nothing new for Michigan, a team that has been remarkably consistent and capable of handling pressure all season long. After having their postseason stripped away last year, the team has an energized mindset heading into this important stretch of the season.
“We’re excited to be competing again, thankful to be playing again.” Michigan coach Jan Dowling said.
She also said their goals haven’t changed, and they feel like they have a good enough team to accomplish everything they set out for. It’s a deep team, with Lau and senior Ashley Kim playing some of their best golf, and Chun and sophomore Hailey Borja providing incredible consistency week by week.
Chun is a freshman, but took a gap year following her senior year of high school. Though she didn’t get to spend the entirety of that year playing golf, she has a tremendous amount of experience for her age. A four-year member of the Canadian junior national team with multiple junior tournament wins on her resume, Chun is no stranger to the spotlight.
Since joining the team she has been a mainstay on the starting roster, as well as the top of leaderboards, with three top-fifteen finishes on the year.
“She gives the rest of the team a positive look and we’re so excited for her.” Borja said.
Borja has been no slouch either when it comes to providing underclassmen production, as she has been among the Wolverines’ top performers in both of her first two years. For Borja, Dowling had one word to describe what she means to the team.
“Consistency,” Dowling said, “She shows up as the same person every day.”
That’s essentially what this team has done. Every week you can expect to find them in the top five. And they’ll be expected to be in the top five at the Big Ten Championships. Like coach Dowling said, the goals haven’t changed. But for the team that missed out on a postseason last year, the goal is certainly more than a top five finish.
“(A win) would just mean so much,” Borja said. We’ve all worked so hard this year, just being able to go out and play… it would be an end to this Covid era.”