April 25, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 33rd-ranked Purdue women's golf team returns to action Friday at the 2012 Big Ten Championships at the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind. For the first time in conference history, both the men and women will compete for a Big Ten title at the same time and at a neutral site.
The men's championships will be contested on the award-winning Pete Dye course, and the women's event will be held on the historic Donald Ross Course. Golfweek Magazine recently ranked the Dye course No. 1 and the Ross course No. 2 among the "Best Courses You Can Play" rankings in the state of Indiana.
The Ross course, which was restored to its original early 20th century design in 2006, is a parkland gem meandering up and down the rolling hills a few miles from the main resort. The routing of the holes takes full advantage of the many elevation points for the classic Ross greens which slope dramatically from back to front. It is one of only two public Ross courses in the state of Indiana.
The No. 33 Boilermakers will be one of four teams in action this weekend that currently reside in the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin , as No. 19 Ohio State, No. 23 Michigan State and No. 40 Northwestern will also take to the Ross course.
Purdue head coach Devon Brouse and assistant coach Caroline Haase will direct juniors Laura Gonzalez-Escallon, Paula Reto and Kishi Sinha along with freshmen Kendall Dusenberry, Aurora Kan and Vicky Scherer in the postseason event to determine a conference champion.
Gonzalez-Escallon and Reto are Purdue's top-ranked individuals at No. 24 and No. 23 and share identical stroke averages (73.38). Gonzalez-Escallon has finished in the top 15 in seven of eight events this season, with two runner-up finishes: the Lady Puerto Rico Classic and the Liz Murphey Classic. The La Hulpe, Belgium, native tied a 16-year-old school record for low round with 65 in the second round in Puerto Rico. Just three weeks later, Reto broke the record with a 64 in the final round of the Insperity Lady Jaguar to win by 10 strokes. Her three-round 207 also was a school record. The native of South Africa won two tournaments this season (Landfall Tradition and Lady Jaguar) and was runner up at the Knights and Pirates Invitational.
Sinha averages 76.3 strokes per round and recorded seven top-50 finishes this year, including a season-best tie for eighth at the Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate. In the final round of the Knights and Pirates Invitational, Sinha carded a personal-best round with a 69.
Kan has competed in eight tournaments this season and has a 79.1 scoring average. Scherer has a 79.0 stroke average in five competitions and Kendall Dusenberry has appeared in four tournaments and is averaging 86.5 strokes per round.
The Boilermakers have won five Big Ten team titles (2000, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010) and the last four individual championships. A Purdue medalist on Sunday would mark a conference-best fifth consecutive for the Boilermakers. Numa Gulyanamitta was last year's individual champion and Laura Gonzalez-Escallon won it as a freshman in 2010.
For the first time since 1984, the women's championship will consist of 54-holes instead of 72. Six golfers will compete for each team with the top four scores counting toward the daily team total. The Boilermakers will be paired with Ohio State and Michigan State and will tee off from hole No. 1 beginning at 9 a.m. EDT.
Live scoring for the Big Ten Women's Golf Championships will be available at golfstatresults.com, and more information on French Lick Resort can be found at frenchlick.com. The Big Ten Network will air highlights of the tournament Sunday, May 13, at 11 a.m. ET.