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April 26, 2009

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 11th-ranked Purdue women's golf team shot a final round 300 (+12) to take home a second consecutive Big Ten title and did so with a 72-hole cumulative score of 1,209 (+57). Senior Maria Hernandez and sophomore Maude-Aimee LeBlanc finished in a tie for first place to share medalist honors. This was the second year in a row that Hernandez has earned at least a share of the individual title.

The Boilermakers began Sunday's final round with a 36-stroke lead over Michigan State and extended their lead to 37 strokes on Sunday, giving them the fourth largest margin of victory in Big Ten Championship history.

Purdue was hosting the conference tournament on the 6,333-yard, par-72 Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex's Kampen Course. The win is the fifth time in the tournament's 28-year history that the host team has secured the title.

LeBlanc had a two-stroke advantage over teammate Hernandez heading into the final round, but saw her lead dwindle to a single stroke as she stared down a par putt on No. 18. The Sherbrooke, Quebec, native missed the six-footer to finish in a tie with Hernandez with a 72-hole cumulative score of 297 (+9).

Battling wind gusts greater than 35 mph all weekend long, LeBlanc steered her way to a share of the conference title by firing back-to-back 75s (+3) on Friday, followed by a tournament-low 70 (-2) on Saturday and a final round 77 (+5) on Sunday.

Hernandez rebounded from an opening round 79 (+7) with an even-par 72 in her second round, a 71 (-1) on Saturday and a final round 75 (+3) on Sunday. The Pamplona, Spain, native knocked in 11 birdies throughout the four-round event and was the only player in the field to shoot two even-par or better rounds.

Purdue opened the tournament by firing a first-round team score of 309 (+21), which gave the Boilermakers a seven-stroke lead over Michigan State after one round of play. The Boilermakers went on to shoot nine strokes better on Friday afternoon, starting a three-round stretch of team scores of 300 (+12).

Michigan State finished in second place with a cumulative score of 1,246 (+94). The Spartans finished nine strokes ahead of third-place Ohio State.

Tyrette Metzendorf of Iowa finished with sole possession of third place with a final-round score of 74 (+2). Metzendorf was at two-under par after carding birdies on holes No. 7 and 13. She finished the event with a 72-hole cumulative score of 303 (+15).

Including LeBlanc and Hernandez, the Boilermakers landed four golfers in the top 10. Sophomore Thea Hoffmeister finished in a tie for fourth with Michigan State's Laura Kueny. The Berlin, Germany, native opened the tournament with a five-over par 77, shot a 76 (+4) in her second round, a 78 (+6) on Saturday and finished with a final round 76 (+4) to finish with a four-round total of 307 (+19).

Sophomore Junthima Gulyanamitta was the fourth Boilermaker in the top 10, landing in a tie for sixth. The Muang Rayong, Thailand, native saved her best round for Sunday, shooting four birdies through her first 10 holes before finishing with a final round score of 72 (E). Gulyanamitta shot an opening round score of 78 (+6), carded 77 (+5) in the second round and shot a third round total of 81 (+9) on Saturday to earn a 72-hole score of 308 (+20).

Freshman Vaishavi Sinha (83-80-89-77=329, +41) finished in 48th, while Carolyn Mess (85-83-86-84=338, +50) shot her second-best round of the tournament to finish in a tie for 58th.

With the win, Purdue earns the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Regionals and will compete May 7 to 9 at one of three locations, which will be revealed on Monday evening.

The three regional tournaments are hosted by Florida at the University of Florida Golf Club in Gainesville, Fla., Arizona State at the Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz., and by Ohio State at the Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio.

Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each regional to compete at the NCAA Championships hosted by Georgetown at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.

The 2009 Big Ten postseason awards were also announced on Sunday. Purdue's Hernandez, LeBlanc, Hoffmeister and Gulyanamitta were all named first-team All-Big Ten.

For the third time in her career, Hernandez was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and the Mary Fossum Award winner for the lowest stroke average to par. Head coach Devon Brouse was named conference Coach of the Year.

A highlight show featuring the award show and footage from all four rounds of the 2009 Big Ten Championships will be aired on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, May 17 at 2 p.m. ET.

To see photos from the tournament click here.




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