April 29, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - For the fifth-consecutive year, a Purdue women's golfer won the Big Ten Championships individual title. This season, Laura Gonzalez-Escallon captured her second conference medal with an even-par 216 and helped Purdue to a second place finish behind No. 23 Michigan State at the Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort.
Gonzalez-Escallon opened the tournament with a 78 on Friday, but carded the two lowest rounds of the event with 69s on Saturday and Sunday to win the individual title by one stroke over Michigan's Yugene Lee (75-72-70=217, +1).
No. 33 Purdue made similar strides, starting out in eighth place after firing a 310 in the first round and moving up to a tie for fourth with a 294 in the second round. The Boilermakers turned in the lowest team total of the championships with a 291 on Sunday, which was enough to move into second place with a three-day total of 895, but not enough to catch the Spartans (298-292-295=885, +21) who won their second-consecutive title. No. 19 Ohio State (298-297-303=898, +34) finished third, Michigan (305-294-301=900, +36) was two strokes behind in fourth and Illinois (304-300-302=906, +42) finished in fifth place.
With Gonzalez-Escallon's win, three Boilermakers placed in the top 15. Junior Paula Reto shot her best round of the tournament on Sunday with an even-par 72 to finish tied for 10th with a score of 223 (76-75-72). Freshman Vicky Scherer was just two strokes behind Reto and finished tied for 14th. The Augsburg, Germany, native carded a 76 on the final day to finish with a 225 (76-73-76).
Freshman Aurora Kan tied her career-low round with a 74 on Sunday. She and junior Kishi Sinha were among those tied for 40th with a three-round total of 236. Sinha fired a 79 for the final 18 holes after opening with an 80 and carding a 77 on Saturday. Kan, from Chichester, Pa., got off to a rough start with an 84 on Friday but followed it up with a 78 in round two before her career-best tying 74 on Sunday.
Freshman Kendall Dusenberry shot a 263 (84-84-95) and placed 71st.
Sunday was Gonzalez-Escallon's second Big Ten Championships medal. She set a conference record with a four-round total of 280 when she won in 2010 as a freshman.
The La Hulpe, Belgium, native also was honored with the Mary Fossum Award, given to the Big Ten player with the lowest stroke average to par this season. The award was instituted in 2007 and a Boilermaker has won it every year.
An All-Championships Team was announced and featured Michigan's Lee, Michigan State's Caroline Powers and Lindsey Solberg, Nebraska's Madeleine Sheils, Ohio State's Rachel Rohanna and Gonzalez-Escallon.
The Boilermakers will await their fate as the NCAA Regional fields will be announced Monday at 9 p.m. ET on NCAA.com.
The Big Ten Network will air highlights of the Big Ten Women's Championship on Sunday, May 13, at 11 a.m. ET.
The full tournament results are posted above.