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This Week in Michigan Women’s Golf: Wolverine Invitational

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Michigan opens its 2021-22 season as the host of the Wolverine Invitational. It is the first time since 2012 that the Wolverines are organizing an event at the UM Golf Course.
The Wolverine Invitational will feature a field of 16 teams, including six Big Ten teams.
UM’s fall event heralds the spring of 2022, when it serves as one of four host locations for the NCAA Regional (May 9-11).

THIS WEEK
Mon-Tue, Sept. 13-14 — host, Wolverine Invitational (UM golf course)
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Conquering Heroes Podcast: Jan Dowling & Hailey Borja

Next on the tee: Wolverine Invitational

The University of Michigan women’s golf team will host the 2021 Wolverine Invitational on Monday and Tuesday (September 13-14) at the UM golf course. There will be 16 teams competing in the 54-hole format with 36 holes played on Monday (September 13), followed by a final 18 on Tuesday (September 14). The course is expected to be set up for a par 71 and 6,232 yards.

The Wolverine invite field

The Wolverine Invitational will feature a field of 16 teams including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Toledo, Washington, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Xavier. Several teams will compete individually, including Michigan (two), Illinois (one), Kent State (one), Kentucky (one), Louisville (one), Northwestern (one), Ohio State (one), Virginia (one) and Virginia Tech (one).

The Wolverine Invite Schedule

Sunday, September 12 — Practice Round, 11 a.m. (Michigan at 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
Monday, September 13 — First Round (18), 8:45 AM (shotgun)
Monday, September 13 — Second Round (18), continuous play after completion of the first round
Tuesday, September 14 — Final Round (18), 8:45 AM (shotgun)

Michigan’s Wolverine Invitational Lineup

Michigan has a starting lineup of five members at the Wolverine Invitational. Senior Ashley Lau leads the UM starters, followed by junior Mikaela Schulz, senior Sophia Trombetta, junior Hailey Borja and sophomore Monet Chun. Junior Anika Dy and senior Jacqueline Young will compete as individuals.

History of the Wolverine Invitational

Michigan will host the Wolverine Invitational for the first time since 2012. Overall, this year’s event marks the 22nd Wolverine Invite in program history and the 31st all-time home event for the Maize and Blue. In 30 home tournaments, UM has won 10, the last of which was in 2012. Indiana is second with seven, while Michigan State has three and Ohio State two. Baylor, Bowling Green, Notre Dame, Ohio, SMU, USC, UC Davis, and Wisconsin each have one.

Wolverine Bites

With no incoming freshmen, Michigan will return its entire roster from a season ago. Ashley Kim returns through the additional year of NCAA eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while seniors Ashley Lau, Sophia Trombetta and Jacqueline Young mark a veteran group. Juniors Hailey Borja, Anika Dy and Mikaela Schulz give the UM seven upperclassmen. The only underclassman is sophomore Monet Chun — last season’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Michigan finished in the top-five in seven in eight events last season. The Wolverines also had a string of nine consecutive top-five finishes before the 2019-20 spring season was canceled due to COVID-19. The streak was broken with a 20th-place finish at the NCAA Finals.

Michigan will be without the services of a graduate student Ashley Kim because she is out indefinitely with a thumb injury. Taking advantage of the NCAA rule to grant student athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kim was expected to provide stable experience and leadership for the 2021-22 campaign. Kim has started 34 of her 35 career events and has an average of 74.62. In the truncated 2020-21 season, she started all eight events and helped UM to second place in the Big Ten Championships, fifth place in the regional NCAA and sent the Wolverines to their four NCAA finals, where they finished 20th. ended .

Ashley Lau was named an All-America Honorable Mention by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), becoming the second Wolverine in program history to receive recognition, along with Elodie Van Dievoet (2016-19), who took second team honors in 2017. Lau led the Wolverines with a score of 72.64 average and a team-best nine sub-par rounds, including career-best 68 (-4) twice in the first round of the PING/ASU Invitational and the final round of the Indiana Invitational . She earned her first medalist at that event with a score of 212 (-4). She hasn’t missed a start in her career with 27 consecutive.

last season, Ashley Lau and Monet Chun were named All-Big Ten First Team and Hailey Borja was a second team selection for the second year in a row, becoming just the fourth Wolverine to earn multiple accolades. It was the second time in the program’s history that three Wolverines were honored in the same year. In 2005, Laura Olin (first), Brianna Broderick (first) and Ali Stinson (second) were the first UM trio to receive the honor. Additionally, Chun was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year to become the second Wolverine to earn the conference’s rookie honor, and the first in 25 years, after Katy Loy earned the accolade in 1996.

All eight events from last season started, Hailey Borja saved her best for last with a career-best 68 (-4) in the final round of the NCAA Finals. In addition to career best, her 286 (-2) NCAA tally set a UM postseason 72-hole record. She was the first Wolverines to advance to the fourth individual round at the NCAA Finals. She finished the season with a career-best pace of 73.30 per round as she had seven underscores and three tied pairs.

Monet Chun was one of four Wolverines to start all eight tournaments last season and rack up four top-10s, including runner-up in the NCAA Columbus Regional (May 10-12). Her average of 73.82 per round was third best, while she scored a career low of 70 (-2) five times. Chun posted career-low 215 (-1) equalizers three times, including at the Big Ten Championships (April 23-25), which finished as UM’s fourth sub-par 54-hole total at the conference championship, and the lowest UM freshmen.

Mikaela Schulz made it two straight years to receive the WGCA’s All-American Scholar accolade, becoming only the fourth Wolverine to receive multiple recognitions from the coaching association. Schulz, who earned both Academic All-Big Ten and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors this season, played in all eight events, making six starts, including the last four events. She averaged a score of 76.68 and had a season-best 71 (-1) in the final round of the Big Ten Championships (April 23-25).

head coach Jan Dowling Added former LPGA Tour professional and Tennessee collegiate golfer AJ Newell as new assistant coach after the departure of Mandi Unruh. No strangers to each other, Dowling and Newell have worked together before when Newell was a sophomore at Tennessee (2012-13) and Dowling was the assistant coach. The following season, Dowling left to take over the Michigan program. During her five-year professional career, Newell made nine starts on the LPGA Tour in 2018 and played 35 events on the Symetra Tour (2016-20) before a back injury and subsequent surgery forced her into retirement in 2020. She made 13 cuts on the Symetra Tour .

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