BELMONT, Mich. (WLNS) – The Michigan State women’s golf program was well represented at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids. Spartan alums, Sarah Burnham and Liz Nagel as well as, current Spartan, Valery Plata teed it up at Blythefield Country Club on Thursday and Friday.
After a two-hour weather delay to start round two, the three hit the links with hopes of making the weekend cut.
Burnham found herself at -4 after round one and was in the best shape, of all three Spartans, to make the cut. Both Nagel and Plata ended round one at even par and were paired up for round two.
The windy conditions caused problems for all golfers, but as the morning turned to the afternoon the level of play increased. Burnham totaled two birdies on the day, the par-5 18th and the par-4 9th, and finished the round at -1 for a two-day total of -5, which is three strokes better than the cut the line, -2.
Plata, who’s playing as an amateur, had herself a day. The soon-to-be-senior at MSU shot an impressive -4 on day two, and also played her way into the weekend. Nagel, a DeWitt native, finished her day at +2.
As for the environment from behind the ropes, the Spartan faithful let it be known they were in attendance by cheering plenty of ‘Go Green’ chants.
“It means a lot, I love it,” Burnham said. “It brings me back to when I was in college, so it’s just really fun to have those fans out there.”
“There’s been a lot of ‘Go Green’, but it’s been neat because, I would say, three-quarters of the players, out here, I know,” MSU women’s golf coach, Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll said when asked what she enjoys about the tournament.
An added plus for the Spartans’ golf program, is who was caddying Burnham and Plata as they made the cut.
For Burnham, Slobodnik-Stoll’s husband, Jim, became her full-time caddie this year, and assistant coach Caroline Power’s husband was Plata’s caddie for the tournament.
“It’s kind of an interesting dynamic, that Caroline and I are just watching from afar,” Slobodnik-Stoll said. “It’s enjoyable. We know what they’re capable of doing and it’s just fun, especially for Valery to have this opportunity to see what it’s like at the next level.”
“He actually knows the game really well, which is great, and he just has a great personality,” Burnham said on having Jim Stoll as her caddie. “I really like having him on the bag.”