DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. â€“ Needing a top-eight finish to advance to the NCAA Championships, the Michigan State womenâ€™s golf team placed 11th at the 24-team NCAA East Regional as the third and final round concluded Saturday afternoon at the LPGA International Legends Course. The Spartans will be represented at the NCAA Championships, however, as sophomore Caroline Powers tied for sixth and then won in a playoff over Florida Stateâ€™s Maria Salinas to earn one of two individual berths for nationals.
The Spartans shot a three-round total of 30-over par 894 (297-299-298), just four shots back of eighth place.
The top two individuals not on the top-eight teams still get to advance to the NCAA Championships May 18-21 at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.
Vanderbilt and Florida State were tied for eighth place after 54 holes, but the Commodores won on a playoff to advance. Following their elimination from team competition, the Seminoles still had two players in contention individually. Jessica Negron was third overall with an even-par 216 and was the first individual to advance, but FSUâ€™s Maria Salinas and Powers were both tied at 1-over 217. Powers defeated Salinas for the final spot to the NCAA Championships with a par on the first hole of the playoff.
Powers started the day in second place but shot a 5-over 77 in the final round to end up tied for sixth. Her 54-hole total of 217 (71-69-77) is the best ever for a Spartan during NCAA Regional competition.
Junior Lindsey Solberg posted her best round of the tournament with an even-par 72 on Saturday to finish tied for 31st. Solberg improved every round and closed at 6-over 222 (76-74-72).
Christine Meier and Allyssa Ferrell, both true freshman playing in their first NCAA postseason event, finished at 227 (73-78-76) and 229 (77-79-73), respectively.
Meier tied for 52nd and Ferrell tied for 64th. Ferrell shot her best 18 of the tournament with a 1-over 73 on Saturday, a round that included two birdies and 14 pars.
Senior Aimee Neff, playing in her final tournament as a Spartan, finished with a 234 (79-78-77). Neff closes out her career with a 76.10 scoring average, which ranks fourth in school history.
Powers will head to the NCAA Championships at Texas A&M May 18-21. Outside of team competition, this marks the third time that an individual will represent MSU at nationals (Syd Wells, 1983; Lisa Marino, 1985). Live coverage of the NCAA Championships will be available on www.golfstat.com.