|Angela Blythe was a first-team All-Big Ten selection three times for Purdue in the late 1990s.|
The Purdue women's golf program played its first competitive season in 1976 and got off to a great start. The Boilermakers topped four other teams to win the first tournament they were entered in, the 1976 Ball State Invite. They've continued topping tournaments ever since.
Purdue won at least one tournament in nine of the ten years during the 1980's. Additionally, they won multiple tournaments in five of the years, highlighted by five championships in 1988.
The Boilermakers won their own Purdue Invite four times, and rival Notre Dame's invitational three times.
Current Purdue head coach Devon Brouse appreciates the success of the team during the 1980's.
"By consistently winning tournaments during the 1980's, Purdue women's golf got on the right track," said Brouse. "While the ladies haven't been around as long as the men, they certainly achieved a lot on the golf course. They established a winning mentality at Purdue while also taking care of academics off the course."
|Head coach Devon Brouse has turned Purdue Golf back into one of the best programs in the nation.|
The Lady Boilermaker golf team succeeded off the course as well. During the 1990's, 37 players earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
In 1998, Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke sought an individual who could not only manage the newly built Kampen Course and Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, but lead the Boilermakers back to national prominence.
First, Purdue looked to upgrade its facilities. Kampen Course was designed by famed course designer and honorary Purdue alumnus Pete Dye.
It is ranked one of the top 10 collegiate golf courses in the United States. In 2003, Kampen Course hosted the women's national championship and the men's national championship will be held at Kampen in 2008.
The latest addition to the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex is the Tom Spurgeon Training Center. The center includes an indoor putting green, a swing-analysis video computer system, and multiple heated hitting bays and a 4,000 square-foot indoor putting green that allow players to work on their game year round. Outside there is a private driving range with over 50,000 square feet of tee areas and 24,000 feet of putting greens.
Devon Brouse was hired by Purdue before the 1998-99 campaign to coach both the men's and women's golf programs and quickly put a positive stamp on the program.
In his second year as coach, the women succeeded in winning the 2000 Big Ten championship. This was no normal championship victory, though. They shattered the Big Ten record for the tournament by firing a four-round 1,167, breaking the previous low of 1,196 by 31 strokes. The 2000 team won three tournaments and placed ninth at the NCAA championships.
|Kari Damron was named All-Big Ten all fours years at Purdue.|
"We are very fortunate here at Purdue to have a tremendous commitment from everyone around the university and athletic department," Brouse said. "Our facilities are among the best in collegiate golf. We have first-class courses, which are right next to our campus. We have a brand new training center and play one of the most competitive schedules in the country. We feel like we're on the right track to being one of the elite programs in the nation."
Orschell became the program's first Big Ten player of the year in 2000, and Brouse was named Big Ten coach of the year.
In 2001, the Lady Boilermakers finished fourth in the Big Ten and 20th at nationals. They followed that up with a second place finish in the Big Ten and 16th at nationals.
In 2003, the Boilermakers were led by four-time All-Big Ten selection Kari Damron to a fourth place finish at the Big Ten championships.
Damron posted nine of the 12 lowest 54-hole tournaments in the Purdue women's golf program's history. She finished her career by leading the Boilermakers to a 12th place finish at nationals.
|Stacy Orschell was a first-team All-Big Ten selection three times at Purdue.|
They ended those seasons with 22nd and 20th place showings at nationals, respectively. Whitney Frykman was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year and Myrte Eikenaar and Onnarin Sattayabanphot were each named first team All-Big Ten.
2006 was a banner year for the program. The Boilermakers captured their second Big Ten Championship and rose to No. 3 in the Golfweek.com rankings, the best in school history. The Boilermakers captured six tournaments, a school record. Senior Onnarin Sattayabanphot was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Year and earned second team All-America honors. Freshmen Christel Boeljon and Maria Hernandez were both All-America honorable mention after their solid season. Boeljon was also named the Big Ten Freshman of the year.
Brouse took home more honors as he was named the National Coach of the Year by the National Golf Coaches of America. He was also named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
In 2006, the Boilermakers placed ninth in the NCAA Championships tying the best mark in school history.
Since 2000, Purdue is one of just five teams to have competed in the NCAA championships every year. Only Arizona State, Duke, Stanford and USC share that distinction.
"Our women's team has really accomplished a lot," said Brouse. "The fact we are one of five schools to go to the last seven-straight NCAA championships is a testament to where we are as a program."
The Boilermakers look to continue their ascent to the top of collegiate golf while racking up more NCAA appearances.