Three Spartans Reach Round of 16 At Women's Western Amateur Championship

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Sara Brown, Holly Niederkohr and Mandi McConnell all made it to the round of 16 at the Women's Western Amateur Championships this week and three other Spartans advanced to the match play portion of the championship at Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana, Ill. Brown, Niederkohr and McConnell were all eliminated on Thursday afternoon.

Brown (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic), an incoming senior, posted the sixth-best score in the qualifying rounds, as she posted a two-round score of 143 (69-74) before entering match play. She beat Jessica Parmenter, 3 and 2, in the first round on Wednesday before knocking out Tyretter Metzendorf, 2 and 1, in the second round on Thursday morning before falling to Florida's Mallory Blackwelder, 3 and 2, in the round of 16.

Niederkohr (Marysville, Ohio/Marysville), an incoming junior, also made it to the round of 16 after posting the 34th-best qualifying score, coming in at 153 (79-74) during the Monday and Tuesday's rounds. On Wednesday, she beat Jill Hardy, 1 up to advance to the round of 32 where she took care of Illinois' Stephanie Mory, 1 up. However, her run ended in the round of 16 when Ana Imelda Tampinco beat her, 3 and 2.

McConnell (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc), who recently finished up her collegiate career with her second top 50 finish at the NCAA Championships, qualified for match play for the third time with the 19th-best score on Monday and Tuesday, finishing with a 148 (76-72). She then posted a 4 and 2 victory over Carly Nathanson in the first round before posting a 1 up win over Kristen Ingram on Thursday morning to advance to the round of 16. She fell to Auburn's Marisa Milligan, 2 up.

Laura Kueny (Whitehall, Mich./Whitehall), an incoming sophomore, tied for the second-best score during the qualifying rounds, posting a 141 (72-69) to reach match play. She posted an opening round win, 6 and 5, over Kelsey Johnson, but fell in the second round to Maria Imelda Piccio, 3 and 2. Kueny has had a great start to the summer, winning the Fidra Midwest Collegiate Series event at the Firestone Country Club with an even-par 144 (72-72) and followed that by winning The Medallist in Marshall, Mich., with a 10-over-par 154 (75-79).

Redshirt freshman Natalie Brehm (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) and Jennifer Domagalski (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) also qualified for the match play, posting identical 158s during the Monday and Tuesday.

The Women's Western Amateur Championship is in its 107th year. The field is comprised of 144 golfers that compete in two qualifying rounds with the 64 making it to the match play portion of the tournament.

Head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll also posted an impressive win during the week, winning the Golf Association of Michigan's Mid-Amateur Championship at Edgewood Country Club, posting a 147 (73-74) at the tournament to win by five strokes. It was the third straight year that Slobodnik-Stoll took medallist honors at the tournament.

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