2017 MAC Championships Women's GOlf

Sliver Lake Country Club

Sliver Lake Country Club, 6,173 yards, par 72. For more than 60 years, Silver Lake Country Club has offered golfers a challenging play that will test ones skills on every hole. Silver Lake Golf course takes your through 120 acres of golf terrain with rolling bent fairways and carefully manicured greens. Golfing at Silver Lake Country Club provides golfers a variety of large, well-trapped greens, doglegs, large trees and water hazards to make every round a new experience.

1. Kent State

The No. 12 Kent State University women's golf will look to continue its reign as the most dominant program in the MAC. Kent State is currently on a run of 18 straight MAC Championships, the longest streak ever for any sport. Kent State will bring fresh faces to the MAC Championship, with a lineup made up of two freshmen, two sophomores and the team's lone senior. Kent State rolls into the MAC Championship following five straight top-3 finishes, including two wins at tournaments hosted by BYU and Kennesaw State

Pimnipa Panthong

Three-time MAC Golfer of the Week, freshman Pimnipa Panthong, leads a strong Kent State team. In just her first year with the Golden Flashes, Panthong has tallied a pair of individual titles. Won the Mercedes-Benz Championship in her collegiate debut. Set multiple Kent State records, including the best three-round score in relation to par and the best round in relation to par.

2. Northern Illinois

Headed into the championships, the Huskies carry a 302.54 team average and have been crowned overall champions in two tournaments throughout the season. Individually, Brielle Ward (Frisco, texas/Wakeland) leads the pack with a 74.9 average; she also came away with an individual tournament title at the Bradley Invitational in March. This season, the Huskies have already recorded a 297 (or better) seven times throughout the season, setting them up for another record-breaking performance at the conference championships this year.

"We're looking to go out and play well. It's anybody's game at the MAC Championships," said head coach Kim Lester. "As we've seen in the past, a lot of schools play their best at MACs. That's all we're trying to do."

Brielle Ward

Brielle Ward was named MAC Golfer of the Week twice throughout 2016-17. Ward recorded a team season-low average score of 74.7 for the Huskies and a season-best round score of 68. Ward won the Bradley Invitational with her score of 208 (-5).

3. Toledo

The Rockets have notched eight Top Three showings in 11 tournaments this season, including a 12-stroke victory at the Ball State Sunshine Invitational on Feb. 10-11 and a first-place tie at the Red Rocks Invitational on March 4-5. UT also has tallied runner-up finishes at Ball State's Cardinal Classic (Sept. 19-20), the FIU Pat Bradley Invitational (Oct. 23-25), Mercer's Idle Hour Collegiate Championship (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) and last weekend's Indiana Invitational, as well as third-place showings at the Rocket Classic (Oct. 10-11) and the Little Rock/ASU Invitational (March 27-28). The Rockets have finished as the runner-up in three of the last four MAC Championships and have placed in the top three in six of the last seven years.

Pinyada Kuvanun

Pinyada Kuvanun carded an 18-hole team-low 74.5 average in 2016-17. Kuvanun recorded four top-five finishes, eight top-ten finishes and eight top-20 finishes. The Rockets No. 1 golfer shot finished in second place at a pair of tournaments turning in one-under at the Red Rocks Invitational and an even par at the Idle Hour Collegiate Championship.

4. Eastern Michigan

Having one of the best seasons in program history, the Eagles have posted the lowest four-player team scoring average at 303.6. The tally is 0.4 strokes ahead of the 2015-16 squad's record-setting mark of 304.0. Overall, Eastern Michigan has finished in the top-five at four different tournaments this season, including first-place finishes at both The Kzoo Classic and the Rio Verde Invitational.

Kelsey Murphy

Secured the program’s best single-season scoring average with an average score of 74.4. Shot a season-low of 69 in the final round of the Rocket Classic. Earned a pair of top-5 finishes in two tournaments this season including a runner-up finish with a score of 219 (75-75-69) at the Rocket classic and a second-place tie at the Kzoo Classic with a 222 (73-78-71) score

5. Western Michigan

The first season under Swartout-Mosher has been one of growth and success. WMU has finished eight tournaments in the top five this season and six in the top three.

"Silver Lake" is a great test of golf for the MAC Championship," said first-year head coach Elise Swartout-Mosher. "There is a good amount of elevation change, so being aware of that will be imperative for our course management. Also, the greens have some tricky spots to them. If we can convert our birdie opportunities and capitalize on making lots of pars on the greens, we will be in great shape."

Julia Champion

Averaged an 18-hole score of 75.54 and a par 5 average of 4.96 to lead the Broncos. Helped Western Michigan to all top ten finished by breaking 80 in 25 of her 26 rounds played.

6. Akron

The Zips will be making their ninth appearance at the MAC Championship, the youngest overall program in the league. In the eight previous appearances, Akron has reached the Top 5 five times, including a program-best tie for third place in 2009.

"We are excited to be playing for a MAC Championship so close to campus," head coach Jenny King said. "I really hope that many of our fans, friends, family, staff and administrators will come and support us on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We think it will help get us going, mainly because we don't get many opportunities to play in front of a home crowed. It's going to be a great challenge, and spectators will see some great golf shots and a lot of talent."

Danielle Nicholson

The reigning MAC Champion has been the Zips top golfer in 2017 as she has posted Akron's best score in 8-of-11 tournaments, including a first place finish at the Roseann Shawrtz Invitational (+19) and the Rio Verde Invitational (+54). In 10 events and 28 rounds, Nicholson is averaging a score of 73.93 and has placed in the top-25 nine times.

7. Ohio

Pendy and Balish also competed in all 10 events this season. They averaged 79 and 79.85 respectively, both recording a low round of 71. Pendy’s low round came at the Mary Fossum Invitational in the third round, while Balish’s came at the River Landing Classic in the second round.

Ohio finished third in last year’s championship tournament, ending with a three round total of 882 (+18). Hrynewich was the low Bobcat, taking third overall with a three-round total of 214 (-2). Next was Hughes who tied for fourth with 216. Then was Angela Codian who tied for 15th with a score of 225 (+9). Up next was Pendy who tied for 27th with a score of 229 (+13). Lauren McKinzie rounded out the squad, finishing tied for 43rd with a score of 238 (+22).

Hailey Hrynewich

Hailey Hreynewich, the Bobcats No. 1 golfer on the year, shot a season-best -8 (215) twice this year at the Cardinal Classic and at Kalamazoo Classic in which she Claimed her first individual tournament win of the year. Hreynewich scored a season-low round of 66 at the Redbird Invitational to help her finish fourth overall.

8. Ball State

Ball State enters the tournament with victories in two of its past three events, having won the Kingsmill Intercollegiate and the EKU Colonel Classic before wrapping up the regular season. Senior Kelsey Sear paces a balanced Ball State lineup with a 76.97 stroke average, while senior Allison Lindley and sophomore Sydney Anderson lead the team with three top-10 finishes, including one victory apiece.

Kelsey Sear

Senior Kelsey Sear posted the lowest average score (76.97) for the Cardinals in 2017. Her score of 223 at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational was the fifth-lowest 54-hole score on the season. The senior captured two top-ten and four top-twenty finishes.

9. Bowling Green

The Bowling Green women's golf program will round out the 2016-17 campaign this weekend with the Mid-American Conference Championships at the Silver Lake Country Club. The Falcons will send out a lineup led by sophomore Erin Fahey, followed by freshman Jessica Madry, senior Fran Rodriguez, sophomore Julia Durkin and junior Madelynn Swank.

Erin Fahey

Erin Fahey has consistently led the Falcons throughout the 2016-17 campaign. Finished in a tie for third place overall at the Dolores Black Falcon Invitational with a score of 153 (+9) and marked a season-best score. Fahey finished on top of the Bowling Green lineup on five occasions, and posted a low round of 72 twice on the year.

10. Central Michigan

The Chippewas will join their 10 league brethren in the three-day, 54-hole stroke-play event, hosted by perennial power Kent State. And while contending for the title may be a stretch at this point for the still-young CMU program, it's certainly well within reason that the Chippewas can improve, both in score and in standing, over their performances in the last two MAC Championships.The Chippewas showed signs of potential two weeks ago, when they finished third in the 10-team Dolores Black Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio. The third-place finish was the best for a Chippewa squad since the program was resurrected in fall, 2014. The MAC Championships will be their 30th tournament over that three-year stretch.

"Keeping the right attitude and being more relaxed helps," said head coach Cheryl Stacy. "That was our approach at Bowling Green, and that seemed to help the mindset going in."

"I think definitely they gained confidence," Stacy said, adding that it should help that the Chippewas played at Silver Lake in October at the MAC Fall Preview. "We were there in the fall and the golf course is challenging. They know they're going to have to have their A games."

Natalie Johnson

Averages team-best 80.60 per 18-hole round. Low round (73) is tied for the second-lowest on the team this season. Tied for third at the Bowling Green Dolores Black Invitational. That finish tied for the best by a CMU player since the program was resurrected in fall, 2014, after a 33-year hiatus.

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Jonathan Platten
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