EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women's golf senior Sara Brown was recognized nationally today as she was named both the Golfweek and GolfWorld national player of the week. Brown, who was selected as the Big Ten player of the week late last week, gained the honors after winning the individual title and helping the Spartans to the team crown at the Central District Invitational on Feb. 18-19. This is the second time that Brown has earned national weekly honors in her career, having been acknowledged by Golfweek on Oct. 30, 2006.
The Tucson, Ariz., native, who also moved up to No. 44 in the Golfweek/Sagarin individual rankings, surpassed the CDI field by seven strokes with a four-under par 212 (70-70-72). The total was the second best 54-hole score in Michigan State women's golf history and also the second lowest score in the eight-year history of the Central District Invitational. Stacy Snider in 2002 was the only other Spartan to win the CDI. For the tournament, Brown posted two eagles and nine birdies, both tournament highs, and took advantage of the par-fives, shooting six-under.
Brown's five-stroke lead entering the final round quickly shrank as she scored a double-bogey and bogey among her first four holes on Tuesday, but she would settle down and pull away from the field. Over her next 13 holes, Brown was four-under, including an eagle on the par-five 15th and birdies on seventh and 17th, before ending the tournament with a bogey on the 18th.
On Monday, Brown was consistent with back-to-back two-under par 70s. She began her morning with seven pars and a birdie (fourth hole), before a bogey on the ninth evened her front nine. She tore up the next eight holes with birdies on the 11th, 13th and 15th, but again struggled on the closing hole, bogeying the 18th for a one shot lead over freshman Aimee Neff after the initial 18 holes. The senior recovered nicely after a pair of bogeys to begin her second round with an eagle (fourth) and two birdies (third and sixth) over the next four holes to regain her lead. She played even golf the final 12 holes of the afternoon with 10 pars, a birdie (16th) and a bogey, to match her morning score and expand her first day lead to five shots.
Brown's win was the second of her career, having won the Landfall Tradition as a junior, as was the 15th time in which she has placed among the top-10 in her storied career. Her MSU career stroke average of 75.43 is currently the lowest in program history. Also, her up-to-date senior stroke average is 74.16, which is slightly ahead of her sophomore season average of 74.18, which is the lowest in MSU history for a single season.
Brown was also the top Big Ten finisher at the spring season opener Northrup Grumman Challenge on Feb. 11-13. She finished tied for 32nd place and carded a three-day total of 17-over par 230 (77-78-75). For the tournament, she led the Spartans with nine birdies.
The Spartans, who were named to the Golfweek team of the week honor roll, topped the Central District Invitational field, including 10 of the top 50 programs in the country, by 10 strokes with a three-round total of 28-over par 892 (291-298-303). The score was the second lowest in the eight-year history of the tournament and the finish was the second tournament win for MSU this season.
The Spartans take a couple weeks off from competition before returning to the tee for the Texas A&M "Mo"Morial on March 7-9 in College Station, Texas.