April 28, 2013
2013 Big Ten Championships
Dates: Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28
Course: The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort • French Lick, Ind.
Length: 6,121 yards (Par 72)
NU Result: T-1st/12 teams • 287-295-302=884 (+20)
Up Next: 2013 NCAA Championships Selection Show - Monday, April 29 - 8 p.m. CT - Watch Live
2013 Big Ten Championship Final Results
FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Northwestern claimed a share of the conference title, closing out the 2013 Big Ten Championships on top of the leaderboard after the final 18 holes were played Sunday at The Donald Ross Course in French Lick, Ind. The 29th-ranked Wildcats, who led for the entire tournament, captured its first Big Ten title by scoring a 20-over 884 for the tournament and tying with No. 15 Purdue.
The group of six Wildcats made history as this was the first Big Ten title for the Northwestern women's golf program and their score of 884 also was a new record for lowest winning score at a Big Ten Championships, edging last year's winning score of 885 set by Michigan State. NU's title also was the first team tournament win for head coach Emily Fletcher and assistant coach Beth Miller during their tenures with the Wildcats and first for the program since 2007.
“These girls, they played so hard,” Fletcher said. “It wasn’t easy. It was tough out there today. We made the turn and we were kind of hanging in there and had a few hiccups but they just fought so hard coming down to the end. As we told them last night, both Pat (Goss) and I said, ‘This is what we’ve looked forward to, to have an opportunity like this.’ To have the lead after round one and round two and going into round three, and to have never done it before, it was a little bit more than how we might have thought it would have been scripted for our first Big Ten Championship but it couldn’t be any sweeter, that’s for sure.”
It was a complete team effort as all six Wildcats competing at the 2013 Big Ten Championships finished in the top 25 with three in the top 10. Playing in her first conference tournament, freshman Kaitlin Park (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) led the way for NU, finishing in sixth, scoring a 6-over 222 and earned a spot on the All-Championship Team.
Junior Devon Brown (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) had her best score of the season as she was one stroke behind Park at 7-over 223 to post her best finish of the year in a tie for seventh. Another first-time Big Ten Championship participant, freshman Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier), had the first top-10 finish of her career, tying for ninth with a career-best score of 8-over 224.
Brown and Szokol, along senior Lauren Weaver (Scottsdale, Ariz./Cactus Shadows) had the best rounds of the day for NU as each carded a 3-over 75 on Sunday. Weaver was competing in her final Big Ten Championship and has been one of the team leaders over the last four seasons.
“Honestly this is the best I’ve ever felt in my college golf career, even better than when I had my individual wins,” Weaver said. “This is awesome to get our first team victory and a Big Ten Championship. I’m really happy for Emily and (assistant coach) Beth (Miller) because this is the first time in their career that their team has won any tournament, let alone a Big Ten Championship, and it’s just awesome for everyone and we are all really excited.”
Sophomore Hana Lee, who had the low round of the tournament for any player with a 4-under 68 on Friday, tied for 12th scoring a 9-over 225 to post her seventh top-20 finish of the season. Freshman Suchaya Tangkamolprasert (Bangkok, Thailand/Bromsgrove International) was one stroke behind Lee at 10-over 226 to tie for 16th. Both Wildcats scored a 5-over 77 on Sunday.
Weaver helped the Wildcats make history as she finished in a tie for 23rd. She improved her standing each day as she posted a 13-over 229 after 54 holes.
“I couldn’t end my senior career on a better note honestly,” Weaver said. “To accomplish this for the first time in Northwestern women’s golf history is a great feat. I am so proud of my team. We had a great year and everything we’ve done this whole season has been leading up to this moment and it’s awesome.”
Fletcher agreed that the Big Ten title was a complete team effort.
“We’re so happy for Lauren, she really just helped turn our program around,” Fletcher added. “How about our freshmen? We’re a young team and everybody had a hand in this. Elizabeth played amazing, played so well and hung in there coming into the last seven to 10 holes. Suchaya and Devon really stepped up big for us this week. Everybody has their fingerprints all over this for sure. We’re ready to come back to Evanston with a big trophy.”
With Northwestern and Purdue sharing the title, a coin flip was used to determine who received the automatic qualifier spot from the Big Ten for the 2013 NCAA Championships. The Wildcats won the flip and will now await to find out what regional they will participate in. The field will be released tomorrow, Monday, April 29, with the 2013 NCAA Championships Selection Show at 8 p.m. CT. Fans can watch the selection show live online at NCAA.com. Also, be sure to tune into the Big Ten Network on Wednesday, May 8 at 5 p.m. CT to watch the tape-delay broadcast of Northwestern winning its first conference crown.
“We’ve really tried to just be the best we could be during this time of the year,” Fletcher said. “We haven’t always been able to do that and I think sometimes we’ve lost sight of that, getting too wrapped up in our results early in the winter rather than just really focusing on improving and getting better and preparing ourselves for the postseason. That’s the thing that I’m ecstatic about. I just think this team is going to take this experience and we’re just going to build on it at regionals and NCAA’s. Now the opportunity has been here for us, they seized it and after lots of hours of hard work put in, to have it come to fruition is beyond exciting.”
2013 Big Ten Championships
Northwestern – 1st/12 teams • 287-295-302=884 (+20)
6 – Kaitlin Park – 71-72-79=222 (+6)
T7 – Devon Brown – 74-74-75=223 (+7)
T9 – Elizabeth Szokol – 74-75-75=224 (+8)
T12 – Hana Lee – 68-80-77=225 (+9)
T16 – Suchaya Tangkamolprasert – 75-74-77=226 (+10)
T23 – Lauren Weaver – 77-77-75=229 (+13)
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