April 20, 2011
Northwestern University and Lake Shore Country Club will play host to the 2011 Big Ten Women's Golf Championships this weekend as all 11 conference teams will head to Glencoe, Ill., to compete for a conference title. The course will feature a par-72, 6,303-yard format for the tournament.
The championships begin on Friday, with the squads taking to the course for first-round action at 8 a.m. CT. Friday will also feature round two beginning at 12:30 p.m. CT. Saturday's third round will begin at 9 a.m. CT, while Sunday's final round will take place at 8 a.m. CT.
The field for this year's championships includes 17 of the top 20 finishers from last year's tournament, including individual medalist Laura Gonzalez-Escallon of Purdue. The fourth-ranked Boilermakers enter the event seeking their fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship and fifth in the last six years. Joining Gonzalez-Escallon on Purdue's returning roster are fellow top-20 performers Maude-Aimee LeBlanc (fourth), Numa Gulyanamitta (sixth), Paula Reto (T-ninth) and Thea Hoffmeister (T-16th).
After taking runner-up honors in 2010, No. 19 Michigan State returns four golfers to its lineup for this year's tournament. The Spartans' Aimee Neff and Caroline Powers enter the weekend as two of the conference's nine ranked individuals as Powers ranks 30th and Neff ranks 67th nationally.
Ohio State, ranked 31st in the country, welcomes four top-20 finishers from 2010 back to its roster in In-Hong Lim (T-11th), Vicky Villanueva (T-11th), Susana Benavides (T-14th) and Rachel Rohanna (T-16th). Northwestern and Minnesota also enter the weekend ranked nationally, as the host Wildcats stand at No. 38 in the country and the Gophers hold No. 40. Both teams boast a nationally ranked golfer as well with No. 58 Lauren Weaver of Northwestern and No. 93 Teresa Puga of Minnesota garnering top-100 consideration.
The Boilermakers set a Big Ten record with the lowest winning team score at the 2010 championships, posting a score of 1,158 over 72 holes. Gonzalez-Escallon's winning score of 280 also set a Big Ten record for lowest winning individual score.
The 2011 Big Ten Women's Golf Championships will be broadcast on tape delay by the Big Ten Network on Saturday, May 14 at Noon ET.