BELMONT, Michigan (WLNS) – Michigan State’s women’s golf program featured prominently at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids. Spartan alums Sarah Burnham and Liz Nagel and current Spartan Valery Plata played at Blythefield Country Club on Thursday and Friday.
After a two hour delay due to weather conditions at the start of the second round, the three hit the links in hopes of ending the weekend.
Burnham found himself at -4 after the first round and was in the best shape of all three Spartans to make the cut. Both Nagel and Plata finished round one with par and were paired for round two.
The windy conditions caused problems for all golfers, but as morning turned into afternoon the level of the game rose. Burnham scored a total of two birdies that day, Par-5s and Par-4s 9, and finished the round -1 for a 2-day total of -5, which is three strokes better than the cut Line, -2.
Plata, who plays as an amateur, had a day to spare. The prospective senior at MSU scored an impressive -4 on the second day and also played her way into the weekend. Nagel, a native of DeWitt, ended her day with a +2.
As for the area behind the ropes, the Spartan believers made their presence known by cheering on many “go green” chants.
“It means a lot, I love it,” said Burnham. “It brings me back to college so it’s really fun to have these fans out there.”
“There was a lot of ‘go green’ but it was neat because I would say three-quarters of the players out here, I know,” said Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, MSU golf coach, when asked what she liked about the tournament .
An additional plus point for the Spartans’ golf program is whoever supervised Burnham and Plata when they performed.
For Burnham, Slobodnik-Stoll’s husband Jim became her full-time caddy that year, and assistant coach Caroline Power’s husband was Plata’s caddy for the tournament.
“It’s an interesting dynamic that Caroline and I only watch from a distance,” said Slobodnik-Stoll. “It is fun. We know what they can do and it’s just fun, especially for Valery, to have the opportunity to see the next level. ”
“He knows the game really well, which is great, and he just has a great personality,” said Burnham of Jim Stoll as her caddy. “I really like having it on my pocket.”