Spartans Set to Host 2007 Big Ten Women's Golf Championships
April 25, 2007
Michigan State University is set to welcome all 11 conference teams to the 2007 Big Ten Women's Golf Championships, this Friday through Sunday, April 27-29, at the Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich. The event will be 72 holes of competition with 36 holes Friday (April 27), 18 holes Saturday (April 28) and a final 18 holes Sunday (April 29). The Forest Akers West Golf Course will be set up for a par of 72 and 6,237 yards.
Defending champion Purdue will look for the repeat and its third overall title, but the field will be deep this year, with five conference teams ranked in the nation's top 50 by Golfweek/Sagarin. The No. 8 Boilermakers will have to fend off host Spartans, ranked 22nd in the country, as well as other favorites No. 32 Ohio State, No. 34 Northwestern and No. 41 Michigan.
Currently, four Boilermakers are among the six Big Ten golfers ranked in the nation's top 100. No. 7 Maria Hernandez, who has earned three Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors this season and tied for second last year, is the highest-ranked golfer in the conference. She is joined in the ratings by teammates Christina Boeljon at No. 31, freshman Stefanie Endstrasser in 68th and No. 97 Myrte Eikenaar. In addition, Michigan State's Sara Brown is 34th in the nation and Ohio State's Dana Je is 73rd. Brown finished in a three-way tie for second last year with Hernandez and Ohio State's Carling Coffing -- one shot back of current Northwestern senior Alice Kim, who is looking for her second-straight Big Ten title.
This year's event will be the third Big Ten Women's Golf Championships Michigan State has hosted. The Spartans first welcomed the event to East Lansing in 1987, placing second behind Indiana. In 1997, The Spartans tied for seventh in the event won by Ohio State.
In the 25-year history of the Big Ten Women's Golf Championships, seven conference squads have captured the league title. Ohio State leads all teams with 11 wins, followed by Indiana (7), Michigan State (2), Purdue (2) and Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin with one title each.
During the 2006-07 season, the Big Ten has been celebrating the conference's 25th Anniversary of Women's Championships. Five current Big Ten coaches played collegiately on a conference campus during this span. Michigan's Kathy Teichert and Michigan State's Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll both competed as Spartans, while Northwestern's Chris Regenberg played at Wisconsin and Penn State's Denise St. Pierre competed in State College. Illinois' Renee Slone, in her first year as the head coach of her alma mater, was a 3-time All-American, 2-time Big Ten Player of the Year (1992-93) and the 1991 and 1993 Big Ten Champion during her stint in Champaign.
In addition, this year the Big Ten created the Mary Fossum Award, named after the former Michigan State women's golf coach. The inaugural award will be presented to the student-athlete with the lowest stroke average according to the Golfstat.com rankings at this year's Big Ten Championships.