Michigan women’s golf team will play in the final NCAA tournament of the season.
The Wolverines, who hosted one of six regionals the past three days, fired a 3-over 287, their best round of the tournament, to finish tied for third out of 12 teams and advance to the Division I finals from May 20-25 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The top four teams from each tournament will make up the 24-team field, as well as each regional’s top two individual qualifiers from non-qualifying teams.
San Jose State shot 10 over par for the tournament, Virginia was 13 over and Michigan and Arkansas finished 28 over. Virginia Tech finished fifth at 31 over; Oakland finished last at 90 over.
Ashley Lau, the Big Ten Women’s Golfer of the Year in 2022, put her best round of the tournament together on Wednesday.
The senior started her day making a birdie on the difficult par-5 third before picking up another stroke on the short par-4 sixth. Lau made the turn at 2-under and strung together pars on the first seven holes on the back nine before picking up another birdie on No. 17.
She couldn’t finish the day unblemished, making bogey on No. 18, before wrapping up the team’s best score in a single round, at 2-under 69.
Lau finished 2-over (215) on the tournament, tied for fifth place overall.
Hailey Borja, the Wolverines’ next most consistent player of the tournament, put together another complete round. After making bogey on Nos. 3 and 4, the junior picked a stroke up on No. 5 to make the turn at 1 over par.
Borja dropped a shot with a bogey on No. 13, before closing strong with birdies on 15 and 17, working her way back to even par 71 on the day and 3-over-par 216 for the tournament that put her tied for ninth.
Mikaela Schulz, who struggled on the back nine on Tuesday with five bogeys, flipped the script in a big way. The junior from Bloomfield Hills played the front nine at 3-over par, before ripping off three consecutive birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 14 to get back to even par.
She gave strokes back on Nos. 16 and 18 and finished 2-over 73.
Monet Chun, a sophomore, finished just one stroke back of her best round of her tournament.
After shooting an 8-over, 79 on Tuesday, Chun started slowly with consecutive bogeys. That would be her worst stretch of the day, playing the next 14 holes at even par, with a birdie on No. 3 and bogey on No. 13.
She bogeyed No. 17 to finish the day 3-over 74.
MSU misses out in Stillwater regional
Michigan State, which competed in the Stillwater, Oklahoma, regional just fell short of qualifying for the final NCAA tournament. The Spartans shot a 290 in the final round Wednesday to finish with a 17 over par 885, four strokes back of Oklahoma State and Auburn. Baylor, with an 865, won the regional, and Arizona State, at 879, finished second to also advance.
The Spartans were led by Leila Raines, who finished with a 71 on Wednesday, and a 219 overall, to tie with four other golfers for 10th place in the individual competition. Raines, Furman’s Sophia Burnett, Tulane’s Carla Bernat and Clemson’s Savannah Grewal squared off on hole No. 18 for a playoff to determine the final individual qualifier for the tourney in Arizona. The quartet all birdied, requiring a second attempt on 18 to break the tie. This time, Raines eagled the par-5 to earn a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, later this month.
Free Press sports writer Ryan Ford contributed to this report.
Contact Tony Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.