Michigan State's women (MSU Athletics)
Led by Valery Plata, Michigan State held off some of the country’s top women’s programs and won the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational, played over the weekend at the UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Spartans entered the week ranked No. 19 in the Golfweek
/Sagarin College Rankings. It took a 1-over 289 on Sunday, the team’s highest score of the week, to top Alabama and win the title by one shot.
This is the second time that Michigan State has won the Ruth’s Chris event, one of the major women’s college events of the fall. The Spartans last won in 2009.
Michigan State was third starting the day. The team fired the third-best team score of the final round to get to 12 under.
"We played really well yesterday and got off to a good start on the first day," head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll said. "The third day is always a great test of any team and we talked about winning this tournament 10 years ago and the tradition of playing here as one of the best teams in the country.
"When you get an opportunity like this – especially in a field like this – you have to take advantage. We stayed tough through the rain today and did a great job."
Plata, a sophomore, played a major role, going 4 under in the final round. She bogeyed the first hole and didn’t make another one on Sunday. At 11 under for 54 holes, Plata won the individual title.
For Michigan State, the Ruth’s Chris title can change the trajectory of the season. In addition to finishing on top of Alabama, Michigan State also picked up head-to-head victories on Ohio State, defending national champion Duke and No. 2-ranked Wake Forest.
Slobodnik-Still hopes her team took notice.
"I want our team to understand we can play with anyone," Slobodnik-Stoll said. "We just have to keep working and we can be one of the best teams in the country."
Quotes and information from Michigan State University used in this report
ABOUT THE Tar Heel Invitational
54-hole women's college
by the University of North Carolina. Team (best four
scores out of five players each round) and individual
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