U of M Women's Golf Preview
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2015 Season Preview: Women's Golf
Aug. 26, 2015
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As the Michigan women's golf program enters the third season of the Jan Dowling era, the Wolverines are looking to capitalize on their late-season successes to guide them into 2015-16 with a consistent mindset of development and execution.
With five players returning from a year ago who combined to start 40 of 44 events, U-M has an experienced core group leading the charge. Adding European newcomers Elodie Van Dievoet and Maria Alzueta Garcia, the Wolverines hope to have a stable lineup from top to bottom throughout their eight regular-season events.
Opening with a balanced fall schedule, including two September and two October events, U-M will look to get out of the gates early with three stroke-play events, including a trip to Charleston's Cougar Classic, and one match-play event at Wisconsin. An additional four spring events, including a trip to the Bryan National Collegiate, give the Maize and Blue ample opportunities to prepare for a run at both the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA postseason.
After her career last season, as well as the experience of playing in the LPGA Meijer Classic over the summer,Catherine Peters returns U-M's lone senior with the drive and leadership to help U-M return to an NCAA regional.Grace Choi will serve as the anchor both on and off the course after leading the Wolverines in scoring her first two seasons and starting 19 career events.
With five underclassmen, U-M is far from inexperienced as sophomores Kathy Lim (10 starts), Megan Kim (eight starts) and Emily White (eight starts) all return to solidify the roster. The addition of newcomers Van Dievoet (Belgium) and Alzueta Garcia (Spain) will only bolster the lineup.
STUDENT-ATHLETES TO WATCH
Grace Choi -- Choi enters her third season in Ann Arbor primed for yet another strong year. Last season, she recovered from an offseason shoulder injury to lead the Wolverines in scoring for the second straight year. She has started 19 career events, finishing as the top Wolverine in nine of those events, and carries a 75.65 career average. Off the course, she was honored as a Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholar as well as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.
Megan Kim -- Making her debut as an individual at last year's East & West Match Play Challenge at Radrick Farms -- an event she nearly won -- she was inserted into the starting lineup and never looked back. She started the final eight events, and her 76.04 scoring average was second best on the U-M squad. She led U-M with the lowest round of the season with a four-under 67, which was also the second-lowest single round in U-M history. Off the course, she was honored as a Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholar.
Catherine Peters -- Entering her final season, Peters is coming off a career-best season when she posted career bests for scoring average (76.76), single-round score (71) and 54-hole tournament total (222) and led U-M with a 4-2 match-play record. This summer, she won the collegiate qualifier to earn an exemption to play in the LPGA's Meijer Classic. She has 21 starts in her 25 career events. She also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors this past year, and she is enrolled in two schools at U-M -- the School of Kinesiology and School of Education -- pursuing a physical education degree.
Cougar Classic (Sept. 13-15) -- U-M opens the regular season heading to Charleston's home event, which features seven top-30 teams among the 20-team field playing at the Yeamans Hall Club -- a Seth Raynor designed course.
East & West Match Play Challenge (Sept. 20-22) -- Partnering with Wisconsin, U-M hosted the inaugural event at Radrick Farms last year and now heads to University Ridge for this year's event.
Bryan National Collegiate (April 1-3) -- The Wolverines will compete against some of the top teams in the nation at the Bryan Park Golf Course prior to the conference championships.
Big Ten Championships (April 22-24) -- Playing at a neutral site for the fifth straight year, the Wolverines will head back to the Fort Golf Course in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Head Coach Jan Dowling
On what she is looking forward to the most with the upcoming 2015-16 season ... "The anticipation of a new season is always very exciting. As a coach, there isn't anything better. Discovering the identity of our team with the returning players, and our freshmen is always a fun and rewarding process. The team will also define their goals for the upcoming season, which gives us a very determined direction. Having the team back on campus, and working on our process of improving and getting into a consistent and effective routine is wonderful. We can't wait to get started."
On what lessons were learned from a year ago ... "This past year, it was extremely important for our team to discuss our culture and who we were striving to become as a program. As a fairly new coach with a very young team, these discussions are imperative to our success in both the short and long term. What's great is that the entire team is on board and I can sense their excitement of the upcoming year. The solid fifth place finish at our Big Ten Championship was also a confidence boost as we move into a new season. By no means was the team satisfied with that finish, but it proves that we are doing the right things and can compete in our conference and on a national level."
On the overall thought process of the 2015-16 schedule ... "Our regular-season schedule keeps improving, alongside our team. As a coaching staff, we want our team to be challenged on a national level week in and week out. We added two events that catapult our strength of schedule (the Cougar Classic and the Bryan National), and I know our team is excited for these new challenges. Additionally, we are playing all over the country, including Puerto Rico, which gives us great experience on different styles of courses, turf and teams. The East & West Match Play event also gives us experience competing as a team in a match play format which further prepares us for the National Championship. We have a wonderful opportunity to compete against nationally ranked programs week in and week out, on some great tracks. Our games and competitiveness will be challenged, which is exactly how this teams wants to improve."
Junior Grace Choi
On the upcoming season ... "After our great performance at last year's Big Ten's, we really proved that we have great potential as a team. We were a young and growing team so I think last year's season really allowed us to gain experience, resilience, and belief in our capabilities. I expect great things out of us this year and to work hard to achieve our goals."
The U-M women's golf team continued to make strides in 2014-15, capping off the season with a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships -- the program's highest since 2008. U-M was guided by Grace Choi, who led the Wolverines in scoring for the second straight year with a 75.65 per-round average, and newcomer Megan Kim, who started the final eight events and was second with a 76.04 scoring mark. Fellow newcomer Kathy Lim was the only Wolverine to start all 10 events, and she closed with the second-lowest freshman scoring average at 76.88. JuniorCatherine Peters had a strong year, posting career bests for scoring (76.76), a single round (71) and a 54-hole tournament (222).