Van Dievoet's Birdie Putt Sends Wolverines to NCAA Finals - WNEM TV 5

Van Dievoet's Birdie Putt Sends Wolverines to NCAA Finals

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sophomore Elodie Van Dievoet's 18-foot birdie putt on her final hole broke a tie with Colorado, helping the University of Michigan women's golf team finish sixth today (Wednesday, May 10) at the NCAA Columbus Regional with a 908 total and advance to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year and third time program history.

"Going into this regional was different because last year was the first time we had been to regionals, and it was a new experience especially since no one expected us to make it," said U-M head coach Jan Dowling. "This year, there was an expectation, both from our players and coaches, who knew what that whole experience was like going to a national championship and wanting to go back pretty badly.

"I was really proud of the way the team handled it," added Dowling. "What really helped us was our second round. We played well yesterday and had that big surge on the back nine. That was really important to set up today."

With a 605 regional total, Michigan started the day in the fifth position holding a four-shot cushion. However, the start of the final round saw the Wolverines' lead evaporate as they made the turn 10 over par, falling behind six shots to Colorado. U-M used balanced team play to counter bogeys with birdies as they chipped away at the Buffaloes' lead.

With less than five holes left, Colorado held a slim two-shot lead before closing its last two holes at six over par to post 297 final round. Junior Megan Kim birdied three of her final five holes to help U-M cut into Colorado's lead. Adding in a pair of closing pars from junior Emily White, the Wolverines went up two.

However, after bogeys on the 17th from Van Dievoet and the 18th from senior Grace Choi, U-M's lead vanished, and the Wolverines and Buffaloes were tied for the last advancing spot. With Van Dievoet the lone Wolverine left on the Scarlet Course, she had to either birdie to advance the Wolverines or par to force a playoff.

After blistering her tee shot, she had 105 yards to the pin. An approach wedge shot floated just right, landing 18 feet away. Getting a solid read from an earlier putt, Van Dievoet slipped in the putt, helping the Wolverines move on to the championship.

"As I arrived on the green, I asked Coach, 'do I have to make this?" said Van Dievoet. "Coach just looked at me and smiled and said, 'I think it's best if you make it.' I didn't expect that answer. So then I thought to myself, let's make this. All I know is I didn't want to leave it short. I was pretty confident about the right-to-left putt, and it just went in. I couldn't be happier to be able to help this team advance. That is what it was, a team effort, and to be part of that is pretty special."

"As she came up to the green, Elodie asked me if she had to make it," added Dowling. "Like she said, I just smiled and said, 'yea you might want to make it.' After she hit the putt, she did a fist pump before it went in. She just knew it was going in."

In addition to the advancing putt, Van Dievoet led the Wolverines, finishing ninth with a 221 total. After sharing the tournament's lead after 36 holes with rounds of 74 and 71, she closed with a 76 to post her sixth top-10 finish of the season. Choi followed in a tie for 26th at 227 (78-73-76), while White was 36th at 229 (79-73-77).

After opening with rounds of 81 and 83, Kim was instrumental in U-M's final-round push and posted the Wolverines' top round at 74, helping her tie for 70th at 238. Freshman Alisa Snyder tied for 76th at 242 (83-76-83).

"I'm very proud of this team," said Dowling. "They should be proud of themselves. We talk about leaving a mark on this program. Last year, they got a taste of what the national championship is all about, and it meant a lot to them. We work really hard to try to peak this time of year, and they love this tournament.

"I love this tournament, and it's what college golf is all about. You either play well or you go home. They were so resilient and passionate, and it's really encouraging. I can't express how proud I am and the opportunity we have in two weeks in Chicago."

From each regional, the top six teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the NCAA Finals, to be held Friday through Wednesday, May 19-24, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

Final Team Standings

 1. Florida            297-293-296 = 886
    South Carolina     309-289-288 = 886
 3. Florida State      299-298-294 = 891
 4. Ohio State         302-289-302 = 893
 5. Purdue             302-305-297 = 904
 6. MICHIGAN           312-293-303 = 908
 7. Colorado           313-299-297 = 909
 8. Arkansas           309-301-300 = 910
 9. Texas A&M          308-301-308 = 917
10. San Jose State     310-304-306 = 920
11. Houston            323-300-305 = 928
    Old Dominion       327-297-304 = 928
13. Wisconsin          314-302-314 = 930
14. Louisville         314-300-319 = 933
15. Delaware           320-310-308 = 938
16. Kentucky           326-311-306 = 943
17. Missouri State     324-315-329 = 968
18. Cleveland State    340-328-328 = 996

Top Individuals

 1. Kelly Grassel, Florida                  74-72-70 = 216
    Ana Pelaez, South Carolina              76-70-70 = 216
 3. Katelyn Dambaugh, South Carolina        77-70-70 = 217
    Marta Martin Garcia, Purdue             70-76-71 = 217
 5. Ainhoa Olarra, South Carolina           76-73-70 = 219
    Katja Pogacar, Ohio State               74-75-70 = 219
 7. Cara Gorlei, Arkansas                   74-72-74 = 220
    Camila Serrano, Florida International   77-70-73 = 220*
 9. Elodie Van Dievoet, U-M                 74-71-76 = 221
10. Maddie Szeryk, Texas A&M                73-70-79 = 222

Other Michigan Individuals

T26. Grace Choi     78-73-76 = 227
 36. Emily White    79-73-77 = 229
T70. Megan Kim      81-83-74 = 238
T76. Alisa Snyder   83-76-83 = 242
* playing as individual

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